2013 Annual General Membership Meeting Minutes

The Annual General Membership Meeting of the Warren St. Marks Community Garden on March 3, 2013

Pat McCarty, garden administrator
Melanie Holcomb, garden member
McRae Petrey, fundraising coordinator
Ryan Reineck, garden member and chicken coop builder
Sheri Stein, garden co-coordinator
David Bivins, membership coordinator
Kristen Davis, garden member
Valerie English, communications coordinator
Kit Schneider, garden member
Andrea Kannapell, garden co-coordinator
Chloe Abercrombie, garden member
Cathy Carver, events co-coordinator
Katie Stoehr
Ruth Chasek, treasurer
Aaron Koffman, meeting facilitator and garden member
David Tendrich, garden member
Lou Levit
Dylan Mabin, garden member
Gail Denesvich/Ken Takatomi
Emilie Hagen, events co-coordinator
Kathy Hutson, garden member
Stephen Arthur
Mical Moser, garden member
Nina Fattahi

We opened by going around the room stating what we love about the garden. That included the following.

Sunset in the garden. Chickens. The community. The sounds the chickens make in the evening. Getting fresh herbs.
Picking vegetables. Relaxation. Getting dirty. Getting salad out of the garden. Taking care of chickens. Privileged to
unlock the gate and go in whenever I want. Our meetings, no matter how hard they are. Noticing the change of
seasons through what’s blooming. Green space on the block, while other open spots have disappeared.

Pat McCarty noted that everything we do, from steering committee, to members’ participation, is directed toward the
garden’s sustainability, for this season and distant future.

Administrative coordinator report – Pat McCarty
Description of responsibilities: Liase with other organizations, including paperwork.
Be familiar with bylaws. Should attend most garden days and meetings. Position can be shared.

March is a very busy month with other greening groups.
Green Thumb Grow Together on March 23. at Hostos Community College on the Grand Concourse this year. Free
bus in prior years from the Pacific Bear’s Garden. $3 for the day, T-shirt, seeds, plants etc.
March 9, BBG has its annual Making Brooklyn Bloom
NYC Community Garden Coalition, advocacy group, has monthly meeting, helps protect gardens in the future. Many
gardens are NOT protected. Next meeting April 27.
March 29&30, the Just Food conference.They can help organize a CSA if we want one.

Communications — Valerie English
Handles all communications through the year, some 40 e-blasts, posters, general info posters, any kind of
announcement, postcards for the calendar, managed the Web site and Facebook page.
Those in attendance asked to distribute a few cards through the neighborhood. Great gratitude for her contribution.

Events — Cathy Carver, Emilie Hagen
Worked with publicity coordinator… Plans events, coordinates parties, oversees community outreach, should attend
most garden days and meetings. Kids birthday parties, Movie Night with Mike the Movie Man, Local Produce
Festival, Make Music New York. The year of the chicken — the egg hunt.
Cookouts at garden days.

Fundraising — McRae Petrey
Two main events: plant sale, marathon bake sale. No bake sale this year, because marathon was canceled.
Plant sale. Sold our own seedlings as well as those bought through the city. Will try same this year.
Got a Green Guerrilla grant that we put toward the chickens, and will try again.
Re plant sale: Tomatoes and cucumbers sell well. The stoop sales tended to attract stuff that we didn’t sell. So maybe
consider doing just one, and cutting off donations after 10 a.m. We still have T-shirts to sell.

Garden coordinators – Sheri Stein, Andrea Kannapell
Rebuilt compost plot, reorganized shed, brought in chickens, bolstered community plots.
Good idea to publish map of what we plant where in community areas

Membership coordinater — David Bivins
We appear to have gained 68 new members last year, 29 in one day, due to circumstances around the chickens. 29
orientations in 2 days. Seven paid members never received the orientation. Everyone who expressed interest was
reached out to. We have at least two members who don’t use the Internet, and we reach out to them by phone. My
goal is to make sure everyone knows the rules, and also the spirit of the garden. It’s important to focus on what’s
good about the garden. Everyone who did the orientation was kind and courteous.

We alternate between two sets of locks. We will switch keys April 14

Plot co-coordinators — Ryan Reineck and Alison Novack
High demand for plots and the waiting list is long. Usually only takes a year or year and half because there is a lot of
turnover. But that is diminishing. We could have done a better job making sure people show up for garden
days.Facilitating waiting list for plots.

Publicity coordinator – position open
Makes connections to local newspapers and distributes. fliers. Val could send if she had the information. Andrea will
work with Val to build a list of who to inform. Cathy also may have contacts.h Fliers Almost everyone on the block
has a sign saying “no fliers.” However, when we don’t flier, may add to sense we acting without consulting the
community. We may add laminated posters to our fences and flier just our own trees.

Treasurer – Ruth Chasek
We are in good shape, $6,782, about $1,000 more than last year.
Income: $1,200 more this year, Paypal income has become a major membership enabler. Expenses were about
$1,000 higher than last year. Biggest expense was coop.

Ruth will create a chicken analysis to go forward, so that we know what keeping hens actually entails. We have to
create a process to decide in future about hens that adds tp inclusivemess.

SIDEBAR: Pat McCarty and Sheri Stein
No need for soil testing this year.

BANG report – Sheri Stein
We joined a small land trust of five gardens, to make us the owners and stewards of our own gardens. BANG has a
board of directors, composed of one person from each garden. That means each garden is involved in all decisions.
Some members have been part of community gardening for 30 years. Complicated process to create the
organization, which needed to be in place before it could solicit funds. So the individual gardens have loaned money
to it, anticipating reimbursement. All the land was conveyed to the land trust in February. Now BANG can get grants
and donations. By next year, all the loans from the gardens should be paid back.
Now we are part of a larger organization that needs money. BANG needs $7,000-$8,000 a year, for insurance etc.
Needs help with grant-writing and ideas on raising funds.
Warren St. Marks needs a rep and an alternate. The meeting cannot happen w/o the rep. Anyone can go, but only
the rep/alternate can vote.
BANG is currently not envisioning an annual donation from each garden; it thinks it can make the budget through
grants and other fund-raising.

Would it make sense for there to be dues Uncertain — this will be a discussion in BANG. Reps elected every other
year. But we can make it a one-year post.

This is part of a national trend, to have small organizations that control neighborhood gardens. We want to think of us
as BANG. The less we think of it as us and them.

(Some expressions of preference to make it a donation rather than a loan, and perhaps try to do annual dues from
each garden. No final decision on loan or gift, but WSMC Garden votes to dedicate $1,000 to BANG.)

BANG meetings are every third Thursday of the month. The BANG annual meeting is April 7, at BBG, 11 a.m. Go to
the Washington St. entrance to get in free. At that meeting, dues could be discussed.

VOTE ON BUDGET passes by a show of hands. BANG budget awaited.

discussion of establishing working teams.
committing to self regulating teams

With such teams, what are garden days for for big infrastructure, like raised beds, pathways, moving chips, sifting

Should each member commit to 4 garden days, by date; and work team Plot holders join a second work team The
teams would report to one coordinator. Clear standard for membership in good standing.

VOTE: member in good standing participates in garden work team and attends 4 work days per season. Question of
whether dates must be set at joining/key exchange is tabled for later discussions. Passes by show of hands.

Set day for when dues must be paid. Passes by show of hands.

To join steering committee, must be member in good standing for a year. Steering committee can waive time
requirement if necessary. Passes by a show of hands.

Setting up the teams.
Pruning and off-season maintenance.
community plots
sidewalk/treepit and special maintenance
open hours
children’s events

Moving plot planting deadline to second garden day

Garden day is 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Shorten posted open hours: 10-4 Saturday and Sunday.
Passes by a show of hands.

Administrator — Andrea Kannapell
Treasurer — Ruth Chasek
Gardening — Emilie Hagen (with help from Mical Moser)
Membership — David Bivins
Plots — Dylan Mabin, Tammy Dunn
Events – Chloe Abercrombie (with help from Kathy Hutson)
Fundraising — McRae Petrey
Communications — Valerie English
BANG — Sheri Stein/Kathy Hutson

All approved.

Chicken report.
An organizational success. One large orientation for chicken tenders, Tammy sets up calendar, everyone volunteers
for open shifts and communicates when issues come up (no log in sheets, low on greens, need to trade a day) .
Through the winter, we’ve had to bring water to prevent freezing. A great experience to maintain focus.
We can use this for other parts of the garden governance.

What will be the process to decide for next season Governors Island might not need us next year, they would prefer to keep the flock together. If they manage for 2013-14, we will not be needed.

Would we want our own hens
There will be a presentation on the first garden day on chickens, to say what the experience was from eye of both
chicken tenders and neighbors. The Governors Island flock would prefer to stay together than be split up among
community garden like us.
Coop could be storage area in the summer.

Vote to make rebuilding the compost bins a priority this year. Aaron Koffman self-nominates to be special project

Leave a Reply