Watkins Pond Community Garden (WPCG) Bylaws - 2018 Season

Download a pdf copy of the 2018 Bylaws

A. Purpose
The goal of WPCG is to provide a hands-on approach to organic gardening for adults and children. Our hope is to help children become invested in nature to ensure they become better stewards of the environment. We will also provide community service by donating vegetables to Manna or other local food centers. The Watkins Pond Community Garden (WPCG) bylaws are a written set of guidelines and responsibilities by which the WPCG Board will operate and manage the Watkins Pond garden for residents of the City of Rockville.

B. Governance
1.   Watkins Pond Community Garden Board

 a.   The Board is responsible for ensuring that the garden operates smoothly. The Board will: prepare a work party schedule so members can sign up at the February meeting, organize the annual tomato party; keep track of work that needs to be done during work parties; and buy tools and other materials necessary for maintaining the garden.

b.   The WPCG membership will consist of individuals who have rented a plot in the WPCG, and who reside in the City of Rockville. Members will elect the WPCG Board members at the February pre-planting meeting by a simple majority vote. All members agree to abide by the policies and decisions of the Board. Members will receive rationale for policy changes and decisions made by the Board in a timely manner.

c.   The Board will hold two mandatory membership meetings. The first will be conducted in February (pre-planting meeting) and the second in late summer. Additional meetings will be scheduled later in the year, if needed to address pressing garden issues. Any member who is not able to attend a meeting must send a designee.

d.   The Board will develop an annual budget and present it to the WPCG membership at the pre-planting meeting for discussion and revision, as needed. Ratification of the annual budget will be by vote of at least a two-thirds majority of the WPCG membership. Expenses outside the budget must be approved unanimously by the Board.

e.   Board elections will be held yearly each February by the garden membership. The Board positions to be elected are: Vice President/President Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and Member at Large. The President Elect from the previous year assumes the role of President, and the President of the previous year assumes the role of Past President. The Past President from the previous year is free to run for the Vice President/President Elect position, if he or she desires.

2.   Board Member Positions

Individual Board Member Position responsibilities are as follows:

a.   President:
Serves as liaison to outside organizations. These organizations may include, but are not limited to, The King Farm Citizens Association, City of Rockville, and TRANSCO. The president will work with Community Landscaping (turn on water, fix main valve), arrange for leaf and wood chip deliveries through Rockville Public Works, and for obtaining bamboo. The president shall organize and schedule Board meetings. The President, with the assistance of the Board, shall arrange membership meetings.

b.   Vice President/President Elect:  Relays input from membership to the Board. Enforces garden bylaws and helps resolve conflicts within the membership. On behalf of the Board, provides warnings when plots are not being maintained as required by the Bylaws.

 c.   Past President:  Provides advice to the Board, indoctrinates new board members and informs new WPCG members of bylaws, maintains the waiting list, and assigns plots (in coordination with rest of Board),

 d.   Secretary:  Maintains the WPCG Web Page and keeps the records of the WPCG. Records include permanent copies of the bylaws, changes to bylaws, the plot listing, and contact information for all members. The Secretary ensures that all members have signed a “hold harmless” agreement and keeps them on file. The Secretary shall take and maintain meeting minutes and make plot name signs.

e.   Treasurer:  Manages the funds of the WPCG. The Treasurer collects all garden fees and fines, pays any bills, and keeps a balance book. The Treasurer is also in charge of compiling the annual budget for approval by the membership at the February membership meeting. Ratification of the annual budget will be by vote of by a simple majority.

f.    Member-at-Large:  Serves as work party coordinator, schedules work parties, arranges to have a member serve as work party leader, gives names of people who have signed up to the work party leader, keeps the master list of work that needs to be done, sets work party priorities, and works with work party leaders so they know what should be done. He or she makes sure the leaders have necessary materials and keeps the master list of people who have participated in work parties. 

3.   Volunteer Positions       

Several tasks required for smooth operation of the garden will be performed by volunteers from the general membership.

a.   Volunteers will be solicited at the February membership meeting for each of the following tasks: 

  1. Taking care or water system (fix leaks, care for hoses, winterize and turn on in spring etc.)
  2. Taking care of the food center donation garden plot and arranging to have deliveries made to the center.
  3. Taking care of the cultural garden
  4. Children’s Garden Coordinator who will run the children’s garden (includes conducting mandatory WPCG children’s garden information session)

b.   Work Party Leader is a rotating, volunteer position, for which any garden member can volunteer. Coordinating a work party is about organization and does not require extensive gardening experience.

The leader for each work party will:

  1. Set the time for the party (the date will already have been set, but the start time may vary by time of year and weather conditions)
  2. Coordinate attendance with people who have signed up on the list kept by the member-at-large
  3. Notify all garden members of the work party to recruit additional help 
  4. ​​Provide list of participants and receipts for expenses incurred for reimbursement to the Member-at-Large.
  5. Assign work tasks to the participants
  6. Notify the member at large of work tasks accomplished at the work party
  7. If water or other snacks provided, Work Party Leader will be reimbursed up to $20.
  8. Remove waste bags or make sure someone will remove themCancel or reschedule a work part if necessary because of weather conditions

​​C. Watkins Pond Community Garden Rules

  1. The WPCG is an organic garden and members agree to abide by the “WPCG Organic Gardening Guidelines” (guidelines are located at www.watkinspondcommunitygarden.org).
  2. Effective 2019, members will pay an annual, non-refundable fee of $55 to garden an approximately 300 square foot plot at the Watkins Pond Community Garden (WPCG). The fee for a half plot will be $33. Plot fees help cover garden expenses and will be collected before any activity on the plot is started. Membership begins after payment is made to the Treasurer, and the Secretary receives a signed “Registration and Hold Harmless” form.
  3. Plots will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  4. Members must weed their plots by the end of March, plant by the end of May, keep their plot planted throughout the summer, and put their plots to bed by the end of November. Members will be responsible for keeping the weeds in their plots under control. This means that: all weeds over 3 inches will be pulled; all flowers are removed from the weeds so that they do not propagate; the edges of plots are kept free of weeds so they do not propagate into a neighbor’s plot; the vines in the fence by the plot are cut near the bottom (this may require gardeners to go outside the fence to cut vines); and weeds are kept out of the path in front of the member’s plot. Members will be responsible for composting or removing the pulled weeds from the inside of the garden and the area around the garden. Plots deemed unkempt by the Board will be given a 2-week notice to be in compliance.
  5. Members will notify a WPCG Board member if they must relinquish their plot for any reason.
  6. Members will participate in a minimum of two general work parties for the garden per year. These work parties will address critical community garden development and maintenance needs, such as fence construction and repair, weeding common areas, tilling-in abandoned plots, turning and spreading compost, spreading wood chips on pathways, etc.
  7. Members in good standing will be given priority for the same plot the following year. Members in good standing have the option to expand into a full plot from a half plot if no one is on the WPCG waiting list.
  8. Potatoes should be grown in bags to prevent the spread of invasive Colorado beetles.
  9. Members are not allowed to plant the following in the WPCG: 
    • Mints
    • Catnip
    • Horseradish or other root plants that spread
    • Jerusalem artichokes
    • Corn
    • Cantaloupe
    • Comfrey
    • Grape vines
    • Grasses
    • Bushes
    • Shrubs
    • Trees of any kind
    • Any plant growing on fences
    • Illegal plants
    • Any plants listed on the Non-native Plant List (available online at: http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_docs/programs/woodland-steward/HG88_InvControl.pdf
  10. Smoking is not allowed within 200 feet of the garden.
  11. Plots, adjacent pathways, and fences must be kept free of trash and litter, including the areas outside the garden
  12. Tall crops may be planted along the North side of the plot closest to Watkins Pond. The WPCG Board may need to prune or remove any plants that extend beyond or shade a member’s plot.
  13. Members must ensure their crops do not climb the fence.
  14. Members will pick only their own crops, unless given explicit permission by plot holder.
  15. All members will work to keep the garden a happy, secure, and enjoyable place where all participants can garden and socialize peacefully in a neighborly manner.
  16. Garden waste may be composted in a suitable container and confined to individual plots. The following items may not be composted at the garden:
    • Meat and bones;
    • Grease, fats, and oils;
    • Dairy products,
    • Weeds and Diseased plants;
    • Citrus peels and Eucalyptus leaves;
    • Treated wood and treated wood products;
    • Grass/tree clippings treated with pesticides;
    • Poison Ivy and any other toxic plant;
    • Walnut shells and leaves;
    • Charcoal;
    • Plastics and metals;
    • Non-organic materials;
    • Waxed paper
  17. Any pets brought to the garden must be leashed outside the garden fence, but not to the fence. All Montgomery County leash and clean-up laws apply at the WPCG.
  18. Care should be taken to avoid damaging other people’s gardens, this includes while watering, and being sure to compost only in one’s own compost bin.
  19. In order to conserve water, members must be present while watering their plot and may not use sprinkler systems or automatic watering devices.
  20. Parking is allowed only along Watkins Overlook and Watkins Pond Boulevard, between the posted signs.
    The WPCG has been posted “Use by Permit Only.”  It is not possible for the City of Rockville to provide special protection against vandalism and theft in the garden area. Therefore, if you observe an intruder in the WPCG please contact the Rockville City Police at 240-314-8900 (non-emergency number). The identity or a description of the intruder, and/or license plate number would be helpful for the police.
  21. Plot fees are nonrefundable.
  22. WPCG Children’s Garden:
    • The fee for the Children’s Garden is $30 per year for one child plus $15 per additional child in the same family.
    • A parent or guardian is not required to have a plot at the WPCG in order for their child to participate in the Children’s Garden. 
    • Only children between the ages of 5 and 12 will be permitted to garden in the Children’s Garden. Any child gardening in the plot needs to be accompanied and supervised by the Children’s Garden coordinator or a parent or guardian 16 years of age or older.
    • In order for a child to garden in the WPCG Children’s Garden a liability waiver needs to be signed by that child’s parent or guardian.
    • The parents of any child gardening in the WPCG Children’s Garden, and the child, must commit to participating in at least one WPCG work party. Which the children’s garden coordinator determines.
    • A mandatory WPCG Children’s Garden information session will be led by the Children’s Garden Coordinator. A plot will not be assigned to a child if a parent or guardian is unable to attend this session with the child who is interested in gardening.
    • Any disagreements among children participating in the WPCG Children’s Garden will be settled by their guardians.
    • There will be a limit of 10 children who are able to participate in the WPCG Children’s Garden during any one growing season. Space will be provided on a first-come-first-serve basis.
    • The gardening space allotted each child is determined by the Children’s Garden coordinator according to availability.
    • Children gardening in the WPCG Children’s Garden will manage the upkeep of their space and are entitled to any produce grown in their allotted space.
  23. None of the following entities are responsible for my actions or the actions of my children and/or guests in connection to my/our activities at the WPCG:  WPCG Board Members, other WPCG Members, King Farm Board of Trustees, City of Rockville, Transco Gas, Williams Pipeline or owners of the land. I THEREFORE AGREE TO HOLD HARMLESS THE WPCG BOARD MEMBERS, OTHER WPCG MEMBERS, KING FARM BOARD OF TRUSTEES, CITY OF ROCKVILLE, TRANSCO GAS, WILLIAMS PIPELINE OR OWNERS OF THE LAND FOR ANY LIABILITY, DAMAGE, LOSS OR CLAIM THAT OCCURS IN CONNECTION WITH ANY OF MY ACTIVITIES OR THE ACTIVITIES OF MY CHILDREN AND GUESTS AT THE WPCG.