Member Guidelines

Our Mission

The South Brooklyn Children’s Garden (SBCG) creates a green space for children, their families, and the greater community to learn about their food sources and connect with nature through gardening. As a membership-based cooperative and public garden, we foster a sense of community by working together to grow food, offering educational programs, and hosting events.

Member Benefits

Members enjoy the benefits of having a key to the garden and participating in a robust community of fellow gardeners. In addition to the vast non-material benefits we enjoy, members may use the garden at any time between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. year-round.  Members may reserve time for parties in 3-hour increments on a first-come, first-served basis. Members may also organize public events and activities in the garden.  (Please discuss your ideas with the board by contacting [email protected].)   

Member Obligations

Fee

There is an annual membership fee of $70 per family or $40 per individual. This fee is applied towards purchasing everything needed for the season, including soil, seeds, plants, tools and supplies, as well as supporting the activities that we organize for the community. If this amount is not feasible for you or your family, please contact us at [email protected] to inquire about our sliding scale.

Weekend Gardening Sessions

Members must commit to participating in two weekend gardening sessions before June 1, and one gardening session per month thereafter through October. Throughout the season, we have a number of weekend work days when we make repairs, plant crops, harvest, etc., and we encourage as many members as possible to come on those days to assist in that work.

Orientation

Orientation will be held monthly during a gardening session on Saturday or Sunday morning.  An announcement will be made at least a week in advance.  For any membership questions at any time, please contact [email protected].

Annual Community Event

We plan to hold one community event this year fall and will need members to assist in the planning and running of that event.

Watering

We have explored all avenues for acquiring a water tap inside the garden and are so far stymied.  Currently, we use the hydrant across Sackett Street.  Watering obligations are four weekday watering shifts per member/family between April and October. In addition to weekday watering shifts, the garden should be watered both weekend days May through September.  We will be hiring watering help for August and September weekdays.

Open Hours

Each member/family must open and close the garden at least three weekend days (Friday through Sunday) throughout the season (April – October), by opening the gate by 10 a.m. and closing the gate between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.  The shed should remain locked if there are no members present.

Additional Details

Member Events

We encourage members to plan all-member events in the garden at any time.

The Garden This Week

We will send a weekly update at the end of each week noting work to be accomplished during the upcoming weekend, highlighting slots that haven’t been filled for the coming week, and providing news and reminders.

Parties in the Garden

One personal party will be scheduled per weekend. If you would like to have a party on a Saturday, we recommend scheduling it after 1 p.m. so the gardening work day doesn’t overflow into party time. There is an event fee of $25 to be paid at least one week prior to the event. If the event is cancelled, the fee will be returned. Events can be scheduled at southbrooklynchildrensgarden.org/party. Please note that reserving the garden for a particular time does not mean that the garden is entirely private during that time. The public and other members can always enter the garden during open hours.

Garden Trash and Recycling

The industrial garbage bags for the trash can and the clear recycling bags are in one of the square white plastic bins in the shed. Sunday: Take trash to Columbia Street. Wednesday: Take recycling to Columbia Street and check to see if trash needs to be taken as well.

Watering

Please use the rubber ramps to protect the hoses as they cross Sackett Street. They are heavy; you can carry them out in a wheelbarrow to make it easier. Tip: lay them so the top opens westward, away from traffic. This way, the tops will stay closed as oncoming traffic crashes over them. Remember to bring them inside at the end of the watering shift.

Keep the hydrant key wrench and cap together and leave them in the shed at the end of the watering shift.  Do not leave these out at the hydrant while the hose is connected.

Please feel free to post a request/invitation to the group for a watering buddy if going solo seems intimidating at first!

Mosquitos

Look for standing water and eliminate it. Empty watering cans and the swimming pool and look for other items containing water before you leave the garden.

Leaving the Garden

Before locking up for the day, please move everything off of the lawn, including the swimming pool, in order to preserve the grass. Turn everything that can collect water upside down: wheelbarrows, buckets, swimming pool.