Thursday, February 17, 2011

Closer and Closer (and save the date, 2/28/11)

It has been a while since the last update, but rest assured, we have been busy!
We held a committee meeting last night 2/16/11 to discuss our progress and next steps.

Take a break and catch-up for a few minutes:

What we have done so far:
1. Found like-minded gardeners and volunteers in our community through 2 community meetings

2. Listed our visions for a community garden in Franklin

3. Met with the Town Administrator to discuss possible locations, and got some great ideas!

4. Went on a site looky-see

5. Set our sights (or should I say sites!) on a sunny section of grass at King Street Memorial Park

6. Got our to-do list from Mr. Nutting: (daunting, but totally do-able)

He advised us to put together a proposal that included, but was not limited to, the following:
Rules and Regulations
Garden Leadership
Plot allocation---lottery, or first come, first served?
Site Prep---what were we looking to do and who would do it?
Water use
Legal stuff---Liability, Insurance

7. Are you still with us here? Just checking! We need you.

8. We formed a steering committee and elected committee members and chairs, and please, if you would like to help, come join a committee!  Share your strength.

9.  Developed a fantastic layout and model of the King Street Garden. Chris Clay, please take a bow.  Amazing Job!

10. Realized that if this was going to happen that we needed to double that to-do list by looking toward becoming a formal group with all the incorporation/non-profit/legal fun forms/by-laws/articles etc.

11.  So, we are, in addition to the Town to-do list, currently working on the following:

12.  Incorporating,

13.  Applying for 501c3 non-profit status so that we may apply for and receive funding and grants and tax-deductible donations,

14. Drafting by-laws (insert cheering, encouraging crowd sounds here, please, it'll help with that finish-line thing)

15. Sourcing insurance.  Community garden insurance policies?  They're pretty rare.  In fact, they did away with them in New York City in 2006 for community gardens located on city-owned property.

16.  Developing Rules and Regulations,

17.  Determining what our budgeting needs will be based on initial and recurring expenses

18.  Deciphering responsibilities---Us, the Town. 

(Hard to do when there has been no real dialogue with other town departments. Yet. We have to spin this all together, first, then submit it.  To the Town.  Hopefully to the entire Town Council, this March.  Are we in for a "No, Thank You?"  I don't see that.  It is just so new, no precedence here yet.  There is no existing policy in place for community gardens on municipal land in Franklin, so we will pave the way for one, together. Because you know there will be more, we've got plans for the future, too. Oh yeah, we're on it. After this one.) 

19.  Committees are also making their lists:  funding, youth involvement, volunteer opportunities, food pantry garden.

20.  Remember, it takes a community to make a community garden. We're grateful for your support. Thank you, everyone.

We will be gathering again as a larger group, a community meeting,  at the end of February.
We are finalizing the location and will post it as soon as we can.
(Hint:  save the evening of the 28th for us!  Around 7 pm)
(That's a Monday.)

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