Ask not what your garden can do for you…

September 25, 2013 in Administrative

It’s election time again at Merchant Park Community Garden and we’re looking for nominees (self-nominees are very welcome) to fill our Executive Board, which has several openings coming up.

The positions marked “2Y” will be held for two years and the positions marked “1Y” will be up for annual renewal. Several positions are marked as “Committee Chairs” – if you are interested in helping with that work but can’t take on a leadership role, please contact our nominees to see how you can get involved.

2Y President

Nominee: Taylor Nicks

  • Calls and facilitates meetings and will be, ex-officio, a member of all committees.

  • Will oversee garden operations in accordance with garden purpose, rules and by-laws.

  • Will work with the alderman’s office, other city agencies and organizations as needed.

  • Sets meeting agendas (with input from other executive team members).

1Y Vice President

Incumbent Nominee: Jessica Angus

  • Assists the President as needed

  • The President and Vice President collectively sit on each of the garden committee’s and work with committee chairs as needed to move the work of the garden forward.

  • The Vice-President is the front-line responder for conflict in the garden and moves the garden through the conflict resolution process and procedures as needed.

1Y Treasurer

Incumbent Nominee: Gudrun Pettersson

Treasurer is the custodian of all funds (which shall be paid out upon order by the Executive Committee) for the garden and, as custodian:

  • Maintains an accurate accounting of all financial ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’ to the garden bank account and maintains receipts from these transactions.

  • Makes regular reports on income and expenses to the Executive Committee

2Y Secretary

Incumbent Nominee: Jane McKay

  • Takes notes at meetings and reads them for approval

  • Keeps track of action items and reports on action items at meetings

  • With the help of the Translation Committee, obtains translations of notices to be sent out in Spanish

  • Sends out notices announcing each meeting at least 10 days in advance of the meeting. Looks after appropriate meeting location and scheduling.

  • Maintains a list of committee volunteers’ names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.

  • Tracks attendance at each meeting via a sign in sheet.

1Y Membership Director

Incumbent Nominee: Veronica Nieves

  • Maintains a database of all membership data and makes this data easily accessible to the Executive Committee.

  • Works with the marketing and communication committee to get yearly plot applications out to existing members, people on the waiting list for a plot and to advertise plot availability to the general public.

  • Maintains a list, in order of receipt, of requests for garden plots.

  • Assigns vacant spaces to eligible new gardeners on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  • Keeps the Executive Committee advised of all changes to gardeners’ information.

1Y WIC Donation Committee Chair

Incumbent Nominee: Erin Fuller

The WIC (Women Infants and Children) donation committee chairperson is responsible for setting up donation days and times with the Irving Park WIC office, and coordinating the vegetables to be harvested with MPCG gardeners.  The chairperson is also responsible for planting and maintaining the WIC garden plot.

2Y Maintenance/Garden Development Committee Chair

Incumbent nominee: Taylor Nicks

Garden Development: Lead the planning of the overall layout of the garden area, plan the location and size of garden plots, determine what materials will be used to execute the garden layout plans, budget for any new construction or features of the garden and oversee garden construction.

Maintenance: This chair will also be in charge of monitoring the garden plots to make sure they are being kept up according to garden rules. If there is a violation of rules or other dispute about plot use, the chair will contact the gardener(s) to work out a resolution to the issue. If unable to resolve the problem ‘one-on-one’ , the chairperson will take the problem to the Executive Committee for resolution.

Additional responsibilities:

  • Secure and maintain the garden and any garden assets (tools, etc.)

  • This chair will look into fencing options to secure the gardens area and will maintain fencing.

  • This chair will need to prepare a budget each year and submit it for funding of its initiatives.

1Y Water Committee Chair

Incumbent Nominee: Bob Heywood

Since the garden must get all its water for irrigation from the fire hydrant on Addison Street, a series of hoses and a 1350 gallon storage tank are maintained to make the water delivery process as trouble free as possible.  The basic job of the Water Committee is to make sure everything works so that water is readily available in the garden:

  • Set up the water hose system to the tank in the spring and winterize it in the fall

  • Maintain the system throughout the growing season

  • Train gardeners in the use of the system

  • Keep the tank full and recruit other gardeners to do the same

In the future we expect to have running water installed in the garden.  This will allow the set-up of many new types of watering possibilities, which will be an interesting challenge for the Water Committee.

2Y Fundraising

No Nominee

This committee will compile all the budget needs from the various committees and determine if fundraising is needed beyond income generated from plot fees. If so, this committee will organize fundraisers, research and write grants and look into other possible fundraising opportunities, from partnering with local organizations to getting discounted materials from local suppliers.

2Y Communications Committee Chair

Nominee: Michele Aymold

  • Maintain the garden website and social media accounts, sharing access to the website and social media accounts with other board members as needed. May delegate management of some accounts to other members willing to help with specific accounts.
  • Create flyers or signage for garden events when requested and post announcements about events to the website and facebook page
  • Forward information about open garden events to relevant local organizations, post signs when relevant.

1Y Social Committee Chair

 Nominee: Rachel Rozycki

The Social Committee will be in charge of planning events for members and the surrounding community. This committee will also be in charge of creating and dispersing a yearly calendar for garden members that lists both social events as well as meetings, fundraisers and other pertinent information. The committee will need to prepare a budget each year and submit it for funding of its initiatives.

2Y Composting

No Nominee

  • The compost chairperson is in charge of maintaining the compost system and implementing procedures in order to compost garden plant matter and involve all garden members in the process.

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Members: Time to Renew!

March 3, 2013 in Administrative

Calendar-iconWe need to get our membership applications processed so we’ll have all our renewal fees in the bank before it’s time to start work on the garden this spring! You can print out the application and deliver it with a check to Veronica Harrigan in person, or you can fill it out online and submit your payment via PayPal.

UPDATE: We do not have any open plots left for the 2013 Growing Season! Please do not submit any new applications!
We will post more information about our waiting list shortly after we finalize our new memberships.

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Members OnlyOnline Application & Payment Page

One note: the PayPal automatic email receipt still says “receipt for donation to Emily Barney (fundraising@merchantparkcommunitygarden.org).” This is something we hope to resolve this year, but to set up online payments the account had to be verified with personal information so I used mine originally. The money is in a separate account that is managed by Ann Kauth and Gudrun Petterson, and does not benefit any individual members.

- Emily Barney

Documents to Review

December 7, 2012 in Administrative

At our last garden meeting, one of the items on the agenda was a proposed new garden administrative document to cover conflict resolution.

We want all members to have time to read and think about this document, so they will be posted here for 30 days.

You can find links below to the full text of our current rules here in English and Spanish, as well as the proposed text for the Conflict Resolution rules, which now incorporates the text suggested by members at our last all-garden meeting.

Garden Rules in English

Las Normas y Procedimientos

Conflict Resolution Procedures

Please take the time to read through these and leave comments here or send them via e-mail to Ann (our President) or Jessica (our Vice President)