Rules & Agreements

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INTRODUCTION

Long Beach Community Garden Association, Inc. (LBCGA) is a private, not-for-profit organization, which is located on
land that is leased from the City of Long Beach. The City of Long Beach requires that LBCGA publish and maintain Rules & Agreements that conform to the city lease and the rules governing El Dorado Park (for park rules, please visit: http://www.longbeach.gov/park/).

The goal of LBCGA is to provide a safe and attractive environment for persons desiring a place to grow edible produce. The purpose of the Rules & Agreements is to maintain a neat and productive garden and provide a pleasant atmosphere for all persons in the garden. This document is an agreement between all members and the Board of Directors.

GARDEN PURPOSE

The garden plots at LBCGA are to be Kitchen Vegetable Gardens, not ornamental, decorative, meditation, flower or
income gardens. This is not an extension of your backyard, patio, flowerbed or home garden. The primary factor that distinguishes a kitchen vegetable garden from other types of gardens is that the vegetable plants are specifically selected, planted and grown for eating. Flowers planted in the garden are for the beneficial properties that they can contribute to the gardens (e.g., flowers attract bees for pollination and beneficial insects to combat undesirable pests).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

A.  To become a member and maintain garden membership, an individual must:

  1. Be a current and resident of the City of Long Beach. A business address does not qualify. Proof of residency must be provided at the time of admittance and upon annual renewal. Acceptable forms of verification are as follows:
    – California driver’s license or California ID card, AND
    – A current utility bill with Long Beach address. Acceptable bills are: Southern California Edison, City of Long Beach Services (water/refuse/gas) or phone bill.
  2. Sign a LBCGA Agreement and abide by the current Bylaws and Rules & Agreements of the LBCGA.
  3. Be assigned a garden plot and actively garden the plot.
  4. Perform a minimum of 4 hours of Community Service annually (refer to Community Service section VII).
  5. Remain current with all association garden dues and fees (refer to Dues and Fees section XIII).

B.  Special Notes Regarding Member Eligibility

  1. Each Long Beach residential address may be assigned only one plot.
  2. Plots are assigned by the Board of Directors and cannot be transferred, exchanged or sublet to another person. Plots may only be reassigned at the discretion of the Board.
  3. Each member shall keep the 1st Vice President (Membership Chair) notified of his/her most current address and telephone number and preferably an email address. Any correspondence mailed or emailed to the members addresses on file, either physical or email, is considered delivered. If a member moves out of the City of Long Beach, he/she must inform the 1st Vice President immediately and relinquish the plot.
  4. Upon a member’s death, the spouse or partner of the same address may take over the garden plot as a member in his/her own right.
MEMBER CODE OF CONDUCT

A.  Members shall:

  1. Display annual vehicle passes required for entrance to the garden in all member and guest vehicles,including bikes. If members enter on foot, they must have their garden vehicle pass in their possession. Passes are to be used only for admission to the LBCGA garden, and are not valid in any other areas of
    El Dorado Park or the SPCA/Animal Care Services facility. If El Dorado Park areas are used that require paid parking, you are responsible for those fees. If the SPCA/Animal Care Services parking lot is used, you must be conducting business with that agency. Failure to observe parking regulations may result in
    your car being ticketed and/or towed at owner’s expense.
  2. Maintain responsibility for personal guests and ensure guests follow LBCGA Rules & Agreements.
  3. Abide by the LBCGA hours of operation, which are consistent with El Dorado Park hours and are posted on the guard booth at the entrance to the Nature Center.
  4. Read bulletin boards, mail and emails for current information.
  5. Use the emergency pedestrian gate only in case of emergency.
  6. Observe the 5 mile per hour posted speed limit and observe all STOP signs in the garden; drive one way (south) on the center road and one way (north) on the east and west roads.
  7. Supervise children and stay with them at all times while in the garden.
  8. Properly use equipment and tools of LBCGA and return them CLEAN to their proper place.
  9. Return EMPTY wheelbarrows and carts to the chip/manure areas.
  10. Conserve water

B.  Members shall not: 

  1. Sell or use garden produce for profit.
  2. Enter another member’s garden without written permission. Removal of any item (crop, plant, tool, etc.) that is not your own personal property is considered theft and cause for permanent loss of membership.
  3. Destroy or damage any property of LBCGA or its members.
  4. Bring animals to the garden (including leaving pets in vehicles).
  5. Provide food or water for any wild animals or birds.
  6. Allow children to wander into neighbor’s gardens or common areas.
  7. Consume alcoholic beverages or smoke in the garden as per Long Beach park rules.
  8. Skateboard, bicycle or roller-skate in the garden, except for passage TO and FROM your garden plot.
  9. Remove anything (bags, produce, trays, etc.) from the Food Bank plots and/or from the Food Bank table, as it will result in immediate and permanent loss of membership.
  10. Enter the orchard without permission.
  11. Wash or rinse any vehicle in the garden.
GARDEN PLOT REQUIREMENTS

A. Members shall:

  1. Keep garden plot completely planted and harvested with new vegetables of the season (token planting and cover crops are not allowed). Gardens must be planted with at least 80% edible crops, thus allowing the remaining 20% of your plot for the inclusion of the following items:
  • Pathways
  • One plastic storage container
  • Two made-for-garden plastic or composite garden chairs or a small bench.
  • Two approved compost containers (refer to Compost Containers/Composting section X).

Note: If an item is used as a support for growing crops (bean pole, tomato cage, trellis, etc.), it is considered part of planted crop. If not in use, they will be part of your 20% unplanted plot.

  1. Remove weeds and grasses and trim or remove all diseased and/or pest-infested plants to avoid spread of disease and weeds and take reasonable steps to prevent and control diseases and pests.
  2. Keep crops trimmed and out of pathways. LBFD rescue personnel consider pathways fire lanes.
  3. Keep garden paths at their original width and keep the north and east paths (and other assigned pathways for specific plots) adjacent to plot free of weeds and covered with chips at all times. Keep border boards free of soil, manure, chips and plants. Keep the plot marker on the northeast side of the plot clear and readable. If missing, report to a Board member.
  4. Only hand water and conserve water at all times. No drip systems, oscillating sprinklers, diffusers or soaker hoses are permitted in plots.
  5. Place refuse from your garden into dumpsters provided. If dumpsters are full, keep refuse in your plot until dumpsters are empty. Any wood material must be cut to fit inside the dumpster. When finished emptying trash, be courteous and clean up crops/trash around the dumpster. (Note: Trash dumpsters emptied on Mondays and Fridays.)
  6. Follow LBCGA Perimeter Plot Fence and Raised Bed Recommendations (obtain from the 1st Vice President or the LBCG website). Neither fencing nor raised beds can be attached to the border boards in any way. Raised beds cannot be greater than 8 inches off the ground or higher than the border boards. Any new plot fencing or raised beds must be pre-approved, both in design and materials, by the 1st Vice President.
  7. Arrange for someone to take care of your plot when necessary (i.e., illness, vacation, etc.). The LBCGA is not responsible for the upkeep of any member’s assigned plot. Members are responsible for maintaining their garden, regardless of personal issues.

B. A Member Shall Not:

  1. Plant more than 10% of garden plot in beneficial flowers
  2. Plant more than 50% of garden plot with any one crop.
  3. Use fragile glass or any pressure-treated wood in the garden.
  4. Alter, attach to, replace, or paint the border boards of the plot.
  5. Raise the soil level in their garden plot more than 8 inches higher than the border boards.
  6. Have any trellises, supports, cages, or any structure, including ornamental items, in excess of six (6) feet in height.
  7. Let anything (plant, structure, etc.) shade any neighboring plots.
  8. Plant asparagus, rhubarb, artichokes or sunflowers closer than 4 feet from the plot borders. Trim artichoke foliage to keep it up off the soil.
  9. Leave crops/trash in a wheelbarrow (either at a dumpster or in your plot).
  10. Bring refuse from home or outside the garden and put into dumpsters.
EQUIPMENT AND PLANTS

A.  Members are allowed:

  1. One storage container for tools and supplies; must be manufactured from a weather resistant plastic and designed for outdoor use (no wood or metal storage containers allowed.) Containers can be no taller than 3½ feet in height, not wider than 4 feet, and no deeper than 2 feet.
  2. Two made-for-garden plastic or composite garden chairs or a small bench.
  3. Made-for-garden support systems, poles, cages, and trellises, including concrete support wire. Wood poles and supports cannot be made from any type of pressure treated lumber. Posts or supports must be no larger than a standard 4×4 lumber and cannot exceed 6 feet in height.

B.  Members are not allowed:

  1. Old windows, stepladders, screens, doors, household furniture, etc. to be used as décor, fencing or as supports or cages for crops.
  2. Planting in containers of any type.
  3. Containers (including plastic bags) that hold standing water and create habitat for breeding mosquitoes and other insects.
  4. Overhead structures taller than 6 feet, measured from top of border boards to top of structure.
  5. No worktables are allowed in plots with the exception of ADA compliance.

C.  The following vegetables or plants are NOT ALLOWED for use in the LBCG because they are invasive, toxic, have the potential for spreading plant diseases, harbor damaging insects or causing physical harm:

Bamboo Datura Mints Sorghum
Berries (prickly)(see section D below) Four O’clock Morning glory Succulents
Grapevines Nightshade Sugar cane
Butterfly Bush Gopher purge Passion fruit Trees
Cactus Horseradish Petunia Volunteer Tomatoes
Canna Lily Illegal plants Plumeria Any woody perennial that grows over 4 feet
Castor Beans Jerusalem artichokes Potato, sweet potato, yam, etc.
Calendula Melissa (lemon balm)
Dandelion (common wild) Milkweed Roses

D.  Berry Plants – Strawberry and blueberry plants are acceptable. Banned berries include blackberries, raspberries, or any other member of the member of the genus Rubus. All such berry plants in the plots prior to July 1, 2008 have been grandfathered and will be removed as plots are vacated.

E. Seasonal Rule – All tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants must be removed from garden plots PRIOR to December 1st and are not to be planted before March 1st. This is to control diseases that can persist from overwintering plants.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

A.  Community Service, performed by members during scheduled work parties, is used to maintain the common areas of the garden and perform duties that ensure a good infrastructure.

B.  Each member must attend 2 work parties per year or give 4 hours of service within the confines of the LBCG. Hours are pro-rated if a member joins after January 1st (only 2 hours required).

  1. Monthly Work Parties are normally set for the first Saturday of the month (subject to change) and are posted on the bulletin boards in the garden. Check-in begins at 7:15am under the gazebo with work from 7:30am to 9:30am. Members may bring family members or friends to complete the required hours, but all workers must remain for the full 2-hour period (no one under the age of 14 is allowed to participate due to liability issues). Members shall wear appropriate clothing, gloves, and closed-toed shoes, and have tools available, depending on the assignment. A verification of hours will be provided following the work party and must be kept for any renewal discrepancies.
  2. Special work parties may be called as needed and some committees conduct work groups during the week and in evenings. These will be posted or communicated to the membership and apply to the Community Service requirement.
  3. Admittance to the garden during work party hours is for those attending the work party only. There will be no personal gardening in any plot during these scheduled work parties.
  4. Permanent assignments are available for those who are willing to commit to an ongoing community service assignment, such as maintaining chip and manure corners, delivering food bank produce, etc. Members interested in a permanent assignment should contact the President.

C.  Community Service Hours must be completed on or before the last work party of the Garden Year (held the first Saturday in June). Carryover of Community Service Hours to or from previous or future membership years is not permitted. There will be no grace period or waiver for fulfilling Community Service hours.

GARDEN REVIEWS

A.  Approximately every two weeks, a Garden Review will be conducted by volunteer Board members to identify gardens not in compliance with the Rules & Agreements of the LBCGA. Dates and times of the reviews will be posted in advance and any member-at-large is welcome to participate.

B. Communications to members regarding problems will generally be by email or by US Postal Service if an email is not available. Communication can range from a simple reminder to a Correction Notice or to a Notice of Termination for repeated Correction Notices. (Refer to Termination of Membership in Section for more detail.) In all cases, a reasonable time period for correction of problems will be provided.

HOSE USE AND REPLACEMENT

A.  Hose replacement (purchase and cost) is the responsibility of the gardeners that share a common hose.

B.  LBCGA recommends purchasing a Sears Craftsman rubber hose, only 50-foot allowed, as a longer hose would break the hose holder and a shorter hose will not reach the perimeters of the assigned plots. The Sears Craftsman hose has a lifetime guarantee; if it leaks or breaks member may return it to any Sears store for a full replacement.

C.  All hoses must be stored, wound and hung properly on hose hangers without kinks and in concentric rings.Bending hoses at sharp angles at connectors can cause damage and leaks.

D.  Problems with the water or hose hanger should be reported to a Board member for repair.

COMPOST CONTAINERS AND COMPOSTING

A.  Compost containers are limited to no more than two containers with a combined size not to exceed 3 feet x 3 feet x 6 feet in size.

B.  All composting must be done in covered containers. Open composting on the soil is not allowed.

C.  All crops in composter must be covered with dirt or manure to deter flies, gnats and critters. Members are not permitted to utilize any meat scraps (will attract vermin) or weeds in composters.

D.  Compost containers are considered part of the 20% non-planted area of the plot.

FOOD BANK AND ORCHARD

A.  Through its Food Bank project, the LBCGA provides free produce to organizations approved by the Board of Directors, including but not limited to, homeless missions, battered women, abused children, the poor etc. Each member is expected to contribute a portion of produce to the Food Bank project.

B.  Taking produce from the Food Bank plots or from the Food Bank or Orchard tables will result in immediate and permanent loss of membership.

C.  Members are not to enter the Orchard without permission of the Board or designated Orchard Manager(s). Any fruits from the Orchard will be picked by the Orchard Manager(s) or designee(s) and placed on the Orchard table under the gazebo for the membership. Members are allowed to take daily:

  1. Two items of each variety, per person, per day.
  2. A handful of small fruit such as cherries or kumquats.
TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP (Voluntary and Involuntary)

A.  Notify the 1st Vice President when giving up membership.

B.  A gardener in good standing who voluntarily gives up membership and leaves the assigned plot “ready for the next gardener” may reapply for membership at any time.

C.  A gardener who loses membership for a minor infraction may be added to the waiting list after a one-year waiting period.

D.  A gardener who loses membership for a major infraction may permanently lose membership and may not be able to reapply or enter the garden for any reason (other than to collect belongings and clean plot).

E.  Membership in the LBCGA may be terminated if any rules (including El Dorado Park rules) are broken. This action is not taken lightly by the Board of Directors but will be exercised when necessary and appropriate.

*A member may be terminated for any of the following:

  1. Falsification of information.
  2. Theft, removal, or destruction of property from any garden, orchard or member or from the LBCGA.
  3. Drinking alcohol or smoking in the garden.
  4. Removing any items from the Food Bank table (food, containers, bags, etc.).
  5. Failure to make requested corrections to garden plot upon receipt of a Correction Notice in the specified time allotted.
  6. Excessive plot problems — Plots receiving three Correction Notices within a twelve-month period can be terminated or placed on probation. (The year begins upon receipt of the first notice.)
  7. Abandoned Plot — By LBCGA standards, an abandoned plot means: no crops, no activity (planting, watering or weeding), overrun by weeds or blooming weeds/crops, crops going to waste or rotting.
  8. Entering another member’s plot without written permission.
  9. Disrespectful, abusive, harassing, or threatening behavior or language toward other members.

* Examples are not limited to the above and are at the reasonable discretion of the Board of Directors.

F.  When a membership is terminated, voluntarily or for cause, the member must collect personal belongings within the period stated in their termination letter or by mutual agreement between the member and the LBCGA. Any items left in the plot after the agreed upon date become the property of LBCGA to dispose of as the association deems appropriate.

G.  New members are on probation for the first 90 days and membership may be terminated for cause or Rules & Agreements violations, which includes, but is not limited to, a Correction Notice.

H.  When a membership is terminated (voluntarily or involuntary), passes and gate openers must be returned and the plot must be left in compliance with the Rules & Agreements of LBCGA. Failure to do so will prevent the gardener from returning as a member at a later date.

I.  Members can appeal to the Board of Directors regarding the loss of membership or other actions taken by the Board. The appeal can be either in person or written and submitted to the Board. The member requesting the appeal should contact the President of the Board to be placed on the meeting agenda. The appeal will be heard at the next scheduled Board meeting or at a special meeting called by the Board President. The Board of Directors’ decision is final. Decisions could result in loss of membership, probation of one year or other action as necessary and appropriate. Should probation be violated, loss of membership will ensue with no appeal.

DUES AND FEES

A.  There is a $10.00 non-refundable fee payable prior to being added to the membership waiting list.

B.  Annual dues for memberships are $130.00 and are prorated after January 1st, with fees subject to change. Gate openers are $15.00 per opener (this is the fee for the lifetime of the membership).

C.  Gate openers and passes are limited to 2 per plot by agreement with the City of Long Beach. Fees must be paid by check or money order; cash will not be accepted.  A $50.00 fee will be charged for any returned checks.

D.  Membership renewal is conducted through US Postal Service or the garden mailbox. Packets with instructions will be mailed on or about May 15 for the following year. Renewal must be completed and mailed in time to be received no later than June 30.

E.  All dues and fees are non-refundable.

GOVERNING BOARD OF DIRECTORS

A.  Through its bylaws, the LBCGA is self-governed and the City of Long Beach refers all issues back to the Board of Directors who function voluntarily and uncompensated in the 15 positions.

B.  Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Overseeing all activities and the fiscal integrity of the Association.
  2. Establishing and adhering to policies that will ensure that it fulfills its legal and community obligations.
  3. Setting the tone for dynamic and supportive leadership.
  4. Ensuring that the needs of the membership are met.
  5. Approving and evaluating programs and activities.
  6. Planning the LBCGA’s future direction.
  7. Establish policies to guide the operations of the Association.
  8. Establish financial objectives and monitor progress.
  9. Refraining from personal preferences influencing decisions that affect the organization and members.

C.  The Board of Directors is the determining body to set and interpret the Rules & Agreements with all decisions being final.

D.  The Board of Directors shall hold closed session hearings on any member requested appeals.

E.  The Board of Directors will not disclose members’ personal information.

F.  In a garden emergency such as flooding, fire, unauthorized entry or other such events, Board members on site may take appropriate corrective action in consideration of the welfare of the garden and/or its members as a whole. If a Board member is not on site, one should be contacted.

G.  Board members are not obligated to converse or otherwise meet with anyone, including members, prospective members or visitors unless the meetings are civil and respectful nor will anyone be expected to respond to persons who are harassing, intimidating and/or threatening.

H.  The LBCGA may provide accessible garden plots that comply with ADA reasonable accommodation provisions.

INFORMATION

A.  The Board of Directors generally meets on the first Saturday of each month in the large barn at the garden after work parties. Members are encouraged to attend Board meetings.

B.  Members may bring suggestions or questions before the Board, in person or in writing by contacting the President or Secretary to be added to the agenda. Members may also contact any Board member and express concerns by phone or e-mail at www.LBCG.org.

C.  Except for annual renewals, the majority of communication between the Board and members will be handled by email therefore members are asked to provide an email address when applying for or renewing membership. Members without an email may not receive all communications.

D.  The physical address of LBCGA, Inc. is Long Beach Community Garden Association, 7600B E. Spring Street, Long Beach, CA. 90815.

E.  Letters may be sent to LBCGA, , P.O. Box 50167, Long Beach, CA 90815 or placed in the mailbox in front of the small barn in the center of the Orchard.

F.  Suggestions or questions about LBCGA should be brought to the attention of the Board of Directors, in person or in writing. If you have any questions about these Rules & Agreements, do not hesitate to contact a member of the Board.

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