Copyright © Watkins Pond Community Garden. All rights reserved.
A. Mission Statement
The goal of Watkins Pond Community Garden (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. The WPCG also seeks to tap into the diversity within our community by showcasing different ethnic produce in a plot dedicated to highlighting the culinary and cultural diversity of our community.
1. Plots will only be assigned on a first come first served basis to Rockville residents who have no other plots in the City of Rockville.
2. Members will pay an annual, non-refundable fee of $50 to garden an approximately 300 square foot plot at the Watkins Pond Community Garden (WPCG). 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 WPCG Board treasurer.
3. Members in good standing will elect the WPCG Board members. Members are in good standing if they meet the following criteria:
a. Yearly fee has been paid in a timely manner.
b. Member has participated in at least 2 work parties per season.
c. Member practices Organic Gardening as defined by the Organic Gardening Guidelines of the WPCG.
d. Member's plot is well maintained with minimal weeds.
e. Member has attended all mandatory meetings unless prior approval was given by the WPCG board.
f. Member has received not more than 2 "Letters of Non-Compliance" per season.
4. Members not in good standing may be restored to good standing by the Board following amelioration of the issue and written petition.
5. The Board will hold a minimum of three member meetings each year that all garden Members must attend or make arrangements to meet with a board member. Quorum at these meetings (number required to vote) is three-quarters of the members in good standing. Motions will pass with a simple majority vote.
6. Members agree to abide by policies and decisions made by the WPCG board.
7. Plots are non-transferable except in a fair exchange between members in good standing of King Farm gardens with the approval of both governing boards.
8. Members will notify a WPCG Board member if a plot must be abandoned for any reason.
9. Members agree to 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.
10. Members in good standing will be given priority for the same plot the following year, and no one will have more than one plot if the WPCG has a waiting list. Members will have a one week period at the end of the growing season during which to trade plots among current members or ask the board to be reassigned to a vacant plot. Members not in good standing at the end of this period will have their plots reassigned and go to the end of the waiting list if they desire to remain with the garden.
11. Members will pick only their own crops unless given explicit permission by another gardener.
12. All Members should work to keep the garden a happy, secure, and enjoyable place where all participants can garden and socialize peacefully in a neighborly manner.
13. All members agree to abide by the following statement: 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. THEREFORE I 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. Members will sign this hold harmless agreement each year.
C. Plots, Maintenance, General Expectations
1. Smoking is not allowed within 200 feet of the garden.
2. Garden waste may be composted in a suitable container and confined to a member's plot. The following items may not be composted at the garden:
a. Meat and bones;
b. Grease, fats, and oils;
c. Dairy products;
d. Weeds and diseased plants;
e. Citrus peels and Eucalyptus leaves;
f. Treated wood and treated wood products;
3. Members agree not 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, or any plants listed on the City of Rockville Exotic and Invasive Plant List (available on-line at: http://www.rockvillemd.gov/index.aspx?nid=841).
4. Members must plant by the end of May and maintain their plot until fall. Members will be notified by the board as to when fall maintenance (mulching) should be complete. Plots, adjacent pathways, and fences must be kept free of trash, litter, and weeds which must be discarded at home.
5. Any dogs 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.
6. Members bringing guests to the garden are responsible for the actions of their guests.
7. Care should be taken while watering to avoid damaging other gardens.
8. In order to conserve water, Members must be present while watering their plot and may not use sprinkler systems or automatic watering devices.
9. No parking is allowed on grass or sidewalks.
10. The WPCG has been designated "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 a member observes 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. In the interest of safety, the last gardener to leave should be certain the garden is unoccupied and lock the gates when leaving.
D. Specialty Gardens, Lending Library
1. WPCG Children's Garden
a. The board or its appointee will manage the Children's Garden.
b. The fee for a row in the Children's Garden is a non-refundable $10 per year.
c. 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.
d. Only children between the ages of 4 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 a parent or guardian 16 years of age or older.
e. 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.
f. 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 as defined by the board or its appointee.
g. A mandatory WPCG Children's Garden information session will be led by the WPCG President, board and/or liaison. 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.
h. Any disagreements among children participating in the WPCG Children's Garden will be settled by their guardians with the help (if necessary) of a WPCG board member.
i. 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.
j. Children gardening in the WPCG Children's Garden will manage the upkeep of their row and are entitled to any produce grown in their allotted space.
2. Plant a Row
When space is available, WPCG will reserve 1 half plot for the purpose of growing fresh, organic produce for the local food pantry. Frequently, our produce comes is so abundantly that it is not possible to use it all while it is fresh. Instead of letting good food rot on the vine, WPCG will take extra produce to the food pantry once a week. A member may volunteer to perform this in lieu of a work party obligation.
1. The Board of the WPCG (the board) is responsible for all activities at the WPCG and ensuring that the garden operates smoothly.
a. The Board will assign plots, coordinate the required garden membership work parties, provide warnings when plots are not being maintained properly, decide when plots are to be re-assigned or tilled in, help to resolve disagreements or complaints by garden Members and neighbors, and arrange community/ service activities for non-members.
b. Complaints and suggestions for the garden should be directed to the Board.
c. The Board will meet quarterly and additionally if necessary to discuss business, inspect the garden, and make decisions.
d. The Board may issue a "Letter of Non-Compliance" to members, and may return members to good standing upon petition.
e. The WPCG Board has the right to prune or remove any plants that extend beyond a Member's plot, shade another Member's plot, or damage common areas.
2. Election Rules: The WPCG Board members will be elected yearly each February by the garden membership in good standing.
a. Description of Positions
i. President: The primary role of the president is as liaison to outside organizations. These may include, but are not limited to The King Farm Conservancy, City of Rockville, and TRANSCO.
ii. Vice President: The vice president will enforce garden bylaws and help resolve conflicts within the membership. The vice president will also ensure that all members have signed a "Hold Harmless" agreement and file them with the secretary.
iii. Secretary : The secretary will keep the records of the WPCG; this includes the plot listing and contact information for all members. The secretary will also maintain meeting minutes, permanent copies of the bylaws, and changes to bylaws.
iv. Treasurer: The treasurer will manage the funds of the WPCG. (S)he will collect all garden fees and fines, pay any bills and keep a balance book. (S)he will also be in charge of compiling the annual budget for approval by the membership.
v. Member-at-Large: The Member-at-Large will relay input from the membership to the board. The member-at-large will also organize and supervise work parties (or arrange for another board member to do so).
b. Letters of Intent
i. Members wishing to run for any office shall submit a letter of intent to the secretary 3 weeks prior to scheduled voting.
ii. Letters of intent will be made available to the general membership 2 weeks prior to voting.
c. Balloted voting
i. All voting will be done via anonymous balloting with one vote per plot.
ii. Votes will be counted and confirmed by 2 garden members in good standing, who are not running for office and will be selected prior to voting.
d. In the event no letters are submitted for a position, members will be given an opportunity to nominate and verbally vote on that position at the February meeting.
3. At the discretion of the board, liaisons will be appointed to manage the care and upkeep of specialty plots within the garden. This may include, but is not limited to, the cultural and children's gardens.
4. 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.
5. Bylaws changes may be suggested by any member. Changes will then be reviewed by the board and voted upon at the next regularly scheduled meeting.