GreenThumb

The largest community gardening program in the nation

GreenThumb’s News

Gardener Resources

Resources for GreenThumb Community Gardeners

Educational Resources
GreenThumb Growing Food ToolkitIncludes dozens of readings and resources about growing food in a garden. Topics include crop planning, starting seeds, pest management, building raised beds, and more.

GreenThumb Group Development Toolkit - GreenThumb supports community gardeners in organizing their garden groups through educational workshops and materials. This toolkit includes many of our workshop handouts and webinar recordings, as well as many resources from partnering organizations, on topics related to group development. Topics include group structure, bylaws, conflict resolution, antiracism, decision-making, and more.

GreenThumb Community Garden Accessibilty Guide - The Community Garden Accessibilty Guide was created to help with the creation of inclusive community gardens where everyone can enjoy the full mental and physical benefits of urban gardening. Each chapter contains suggested guidelines on how to make basic garden features accessible to people who use wheelchairs and other walking aids. In addition to this guide, out "Accessible Garden Design" webinar on our YouTube channel reviews best practices to make your garden accessible to all people in your community.

Webinar Videos - GreenThumb has been offering virtual year-round educational programming since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We've made most of them available to the public for viewing on-demand.  

GreenThumb YouTube Channel - Watch recordings of past events and webinars, as well as GreenThumb video series such as Propagating Crops in a Hoop House and Carpentry Tools 101. Don't forget to like and subscribe!

Upcoming Workshops - Find all of our upcoming workshops on the GreenThumb Events page.

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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 (for complete details, please download the 2021 Bylaws Requirements):

  1. Your garden’s mission
  2. Membership (how to join, rights and responsibilities after joining)
  3. Decision-making process
  4. Leadership structure
  5. Process for changing the bylaws in the future
  6. How the garden group handles conflicts and disputes
  7. Finances 

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 checklist in the 2021 Bylaws Requirements.

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. 

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GreenThumb Gardeners Handbook 2021
The 2021 Edition of the GreenThumb Gardeners’ Handbook is a resource for community gardeners and the general public that covers a variety of topics, including event planning, construction work, accepting donations, selling garden produce, tree pruning, garden bylaws, and much more. The handbook includes many, but not all, GreenThumb, NYC Parks, New York City, and New York State best practices, policies, and laws that pertain to community gardens in the GreenThumb network. Gathering these topics and policies in one place helps gardeners in creating and sustaining these thriving public spaces. Gardeners have informed policies, guidelines, and protocols included in this Handbook, and GreenThumb is grateful for the immense time and grassroot effort community gardeners put into making gardens beautiful, productive, and community-centric for more than 40 years.

The Handbook is available to all garden members and members of the public in digital form here on our website and in BengaliChineseKoreanPolishRussian, and Spanish.

For a summary of the policies that have been clarified, added, or changed since the 2019 edition of the GreenThumb Gardeners’ Handbook, please download this PDF. This summary will be distributed to GreenThumb community garden groups in both digital and hard copy format. Please reach out to your Outreach Coordinator if you need a hard copy of the handbook or if you have any questions.
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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.
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Membership Update
To submit your full membership list please contact your Outreach Coordinator.
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Resources for Immigrant Communities
The NYC Mayor's Office for Immigrant Affairs has Resources for Immigrant Communities on their website available in multiple languages.
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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.
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COVID-19 Related News
As we look ahead to the upcoming garden season, we are resuming the standard GreenThumb requirements for open hours and public access starting April 1, 2022. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 related safety and provide updates if necessary, on the Important Services Changes news item on our website.

During standard garden seasons, licensed and registered GreenThumb Gardens must remain open and accessible to the public for a minimum of 20 hours per week during the official GreenThumb garden season from April 1st through October 31st. A sign with a schedule indicating at least 10 of those 20 hours a week must be posted on the garden gate. For garden groups operating under the GreenThumb license Agreement, GreenThumb Gardens must be open for at least five (5) hours each weekend (Saturday and/or Sunday) during the season.

GreenThumb has developed a number of resources to provide guidance to garden groups in response to the unique challenges of COVID-19.

  • Factors For Garden Groups is a list of questions garden groups can consider when re-opening the garden to the public.
  • The Working Together Remotely Toolkit outlines several different ways to use video conferencing, phone conferencing, and messaging tools to communicate with community garden members remotely.
  • 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.

    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.

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