The largest community gardening program in the nation

Managing your Garden

Sometimes, issues may arise in GreenThumb gardens that you may not have handled before. We’re here to help. Don’t see your concern listed? Feel free to contact us with your question.

There’s a car, truck, or other motorized vehicle in the garden.

Cars, trucks, or other motorized vehicles may not be parked or stored in a community garden at any time. Ask the vehicle’s owner to remove the vehicle immediately. If the vehicle appears to be abandoned, call GreenThumb to make appropriate arrangements.

Someone is using or selling illegal drugs in the garden.

If you see someone selling or using drugs in or near your garden, call the New York Police Department (dial 911 in an emergency, 311 in a non-emergency) or call your local precinct. They’ll take it from there. Don’t place yourself in a dangerous position.

Someone is drinking alcohol in the garden.

Inform the individual that public drinking is prohibited in gardens by New York State law. Placing “Garden Rules” in a visible place may help to deter the problem. If the offending individual is a garden member, consult your group’s bylaws as to the proper course of action. If a garden member repeatedly breaks garden rules, it is appropriate to expel that member.

Someone is storing personal items in the garden.

Personal items (items not used to maintain the garden) may not be stored in a GreenThumb garden. If someone is storing personal items in the garden, ask that person to remove them. If the items appear to be abandoned, place them in a black plastic garbage bag and throw them away. If the items are large, call the Department of Sanitation (dial 311 and ask for the Department of Sanitation) or call GreenThumb to arrange for a pickup.

Garden members are not allowing public access to the garden.

GreenThumb gardens are intended for community use. If your garden group is not allowing public access to the garden (in the form of 20 open hours per week from April 1st through October 31st), you risk losing your garden privileges and termination of the garden license. If you are unable to create a waterproof "Open Hours" sign, you can call GreenThumb and we will create a laminated sign for you. You are responsible for ensuring that the garden is open when you say it will be open!

Garden members are not allowing new members to join the garden.

If there are no beds available in your garden, you may place interested individuals on a waiting list. As garden beds become available, you can then offer them to individuals on the waiting list.

The people in your community are not attending your garden’s events.

A successful event usually involves thoughtful planning, creative advertising, and (to be honest) food. Posters, flyers, and newsletters are all good ways to let people in your community know what’s going on. Remember that New York City is filled with people from many different backgrounds. It is part of a community garden’s responsibility to make everyone in that community feel welcome—regardless of age, race, gender, ability, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Your GreenThumb sign is missing or has been damaged.

Contact GreenThumb and we will arrange for a new one to be posted.

Your routed Parks sign is missing or has been damaged.

Contact GreenThumb. We have to request one from the Parks sign shop. Please note: Only GT gardens under DPR jurisdiction are eligible to receive a routed Parks sign.