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COVID-19 Related News

Find out more about important services changes (Cambios Importantes en el Servicio) to GreenThumb's programs and services, GreenThumb’s best practices for community gardening (prácticas adecuadas para la jardinería comunitaria), additional safety precautions, program cancellations, and potential closures before you head to a garden or event. For updates on upcoming workshops and events, please visit the Workshop Updates and Garden Events pages.  

The NYC Mayor's Office for Immigrant Affairs has Resources for Immigrant Communities on their website available in multiple languages.

Find out more about GreenThumb's best practices for community gardening, additional safety precautions, program cancellations, and potential closures before you head to a garden or event on our website. For updates on upcoming workshops and events, please visit the Workshop Updates and Garden Events pages. To watch past webinars, please visit the GreenThumb Webinars page. GreenThumb Garden groups can visit the FAQ about COVID-19 for Community Gardeners.

How to Create Social Distancing Plans for Your Garden
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that social distancing (also known as “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household. To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Social distancing should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing cloth face coverings, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, GreenThumb gardens that are on NYC Parks’ property are required to follow social distancing protocols to ensure public health and safety. For the latest updates to NYC Parks GreenThumb policies about garden access, permitted activities, and safety precautions, please visit the GreenThumb website. Please review these policies carefully, as public health and safety remain a top priority during this time. Community gardens must adhere to all City and State policies. In addition, please note that these policies are subject to change as the City continues its phased reopening. If you have any questions, feel free to contact your Outreach Coordinator for clarification. 

For recommendations and guidelines on creating social distancing plans for your garden, please see the below Social Distancing in Gardens guide.

For examples of social distancing plans that community gardeners have created for their sites during COVID-19, please see the templates (2020 COVID-19 Bylaws Addendum, 2020 Garden Help Sign-Up, and Garden Task Planning Template Calendar) below. Your garden group can download these and adjust as needed.

COVID-19 Compost Safety Guide
Many GreenThumb gardens host volunteer-run community composting operations or host food scrap drop-off sites. Due to COVID-19, curbside organics collection by the NYC Department of Sanitation is temporarily suspended and some food scrap drop-offs are currently closed. Because of these changes in the composting landscape, GreenThumb gardeners are seeing a growing public interest in composting at community gardens. The COVID-19 Compost Safety Guide provides guidance to existing compost sites on best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19 during compost drop-offs or during use of the compost area. (See below for a link to download the COVID-19 Compost Safety Guide.) Gardens that are curious to learn more about the art and science of composting can refer to the Compost Resource Guide, a compilation of webinars, videos, and publications from partners and compost experts. In addition, GreenThumb regularly offers workshops, webinars, and training on composting. Visit our website often to view all upcoming programs.

For questions or concerns about composting at your GreenThumb garden, please reach out to your garden’s Outreach Coordinator

Bylaws Requirements for Relicensing
GreenThumb requires all community garden groups under Parks jurisdiction to submit copies of their bylaws to their Outreach Coordinators as a prerequisite to being licensed. We offer workshops on group structure and bylaws and we encourage members of your garden groups to attend these workshops if you haven’t already. This is a great opportunity to bolster the strength of your gardening group through a shared understanding of membership rights and responsibilities, rules and procedures, governance structure, and how the group makes decisions. Please connect with your GreenThumb Outreach Coordinator for more details.

At minimum, your bylaws must include the following (but you can always add more!):

  • Your garden’s mission
  • Membership (how to join, rights and responsibilities after joining)
  • Decision-making process
  • Leadership structure
  • Process for changing the bylaws in the future
  • How the garden group handles conflicts and disputes
  • Finances (including protocol if a member is unable to pay dues)
  • Rules for garden members (what are gardeners allowed and not allowed to do?) and procedures for what happens if a garden member does not comply with the rules of membership

Before contacting your Outreach Coordinator, we recommend that you 1) attend the Organizing for Garden Success workshop series and 2) work with your garden group to complete the Bylaws Worksheet, available in five languages:

You may also use the GreenThumb Bylaws Template. We expect that garden groups who choose to use the Template will complete it as a group and collectively sign the last page.

Thank you for your hard work growing the strength of community garden groups across the city. 

GreenThumb Gardeners Handbook 2019
The 2019 edition of the GreenThumb Gardeners' Handbook answers frequently asked questions regarding a variety of topics, including accepting donations, selling garden produce, tree pruning, and garden bylaws. The handbook is a one-stop-shop for all GreenThumb, NYC Parks, NYC, and NY State policies and laws that govern community gardens in the GreenThumb network.

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Membership Update
To submit your full membership list please email the membership update form to or download and send to our mailing address.

Assign a Contact
GreenThumb requires each garden to select a primary and a secondary contact person. This page explains what a GreenThumb Contact should and shouldn’t do.

Solve an Issue
Learn more about how to handle any issues that may arise in your garden. For any serious or life threatening situations or to report a crime, please call 911 or your local precinct.


Tags: Gardens, News, Resources, Updates, Workshops

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