Community Gardens Handbook Policies and P‰ocedu‰es

City of Eugene Parks and Open Space

Welcome to Eugene’s Community Gardens Program!
Since 1978, the City of Eugene’s Community Gardens Program has provided opportunities for local residents to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers in a community setting. By signing up for a plot at one of the six local garden sites, individuals and/or groups can gain access to a fenced garden plot and the water, and tools needed to produce a successful garden.

Community Gardens Program Manager Parks and Open Space Division

Community Gardens Calendar at a Glance
January Mid-February Third Monday in March Fourth Monday in March April 24 May 15 May 31 Mid-November December Deadline for renewal is the last business day of the month Registration for new gardeners begins Registration for new gardeners ends Lottery for available plots begins at 8:00 a.m. Average last frost date! Spring gardening deadline Last day for refund Fall cleanup deadline Renewal begins for returning gardeners

Community Gardens Program
Policies and Procedures

Revised December 2009

Registration Information
Returning Gardeners

The Community Gardens Program will send a renewal registration form to all current gardeners in December. To renew participation in the program for the next season, each gardener must complete the registration form and return it with payment to: City of Eugene, Community Gardens Program, 1820 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eugene, OR, 97402. The registration form, payment for program fees, and a signed agreement must be received by the last business day in January of the upcoming season. If a completed renewal registration form, signed agreement, and payment are not received by this deadline, the plot will be considered available for reassignment to another gardener.
New Gardeners

Beginning mid-February, the Community Gardens Program will provide information about plot availability for the coming season. New gardeners should look at several garden sites before registering if requesting a specific location. Please note demand is high for garden plots, and the turnover rates are very low. In order to provide a process that is as fair as possible the Community Gardens Program will use a lottery process to determine the order of plot assignment and registration for available plots. Registration closes at the end of the

business day on the third Monday in March. Names will be chosen by lottery on the fourth Monday in March, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and vacant plots will be assigned based on the preferences stated on registration forms. Individuals receiving a plot assignment will be contacted by telephone and may choose to accept the garden plot and complete the registration process within ten days of notification. If registration for a new plot is not completed by this deadline, the vacant plot may be offered to the next person on the waiting list. The waiting list remains effective for the current year only. Those individuals who are not successful in obtaining a garden plot assignment for the current year must register again for the following year. New gardeners can expect to plan to spend around four to five hours gardening each week during peak gardening times, and the ability of all gardeners to commit time and energy to gardening and plot maintenance is an important consideration.

Community Garden plot use fees are: Raised beds $20.00 available at Alton Baker only (average size 50 square feet) “Root” plots $30.00 not available at all locations (average size 250 square feet) “Vine” plots $60.00 (average size 500 square feet) Organizational plots $120.00 available at Skinner City Farm only (average size 1,400 square feet) Payment of plot use fees entitles the gardener to: ❧ A plot of land at one of the Community Gardens ❧ Access to water spring through fall (each plot has shared access to a water faucet) ❧ Access to garden tools including shovels, rakes, hoes, and wheelbarrows ❧ Leaves that can be used for mulching, composting, and soil amendments ❧ Wood chips for pathways when available ❧ Access to the organic waste bin used for disposal of organic waste, woody material, and sod

Site Coordinators Site Coordinators, formerly referred to as Garden Managers, are a vital link between the gardeners and city staff. They volunteer their own time to provide gardening advice, weed control, and assist with site maintenance. They serve as the first point of contact for issues at each of the garden sites. You can discuss composting, tilling, pest control, tools, garden projects, etc. with this volunteer. If you notice any type of maintenance problem, please contact the Site Coordinator at your garden or the Community Gardens Program Coordinator at (541) 682-4800. The Community Gardens are public facilities and one gardener’s actions may impact another’s use and enjoyment of the site. In order to effectively manage and protect the community resource and assure that everyone can enjoy the community gardening experience, the following rules and guidelines have been established.

Rules for all Gardeners
Plot Maintenance Standards Naturally, a garden filled with well tended plots inspires pride in both gardeners and neighbors. A public program, however, necessarily includes a broad range of people whose differing backgrounds, life circumstances, and expectations influence their gardening styles and abilities. As an inclusive program, we try to strike a balance between acceptance of individual differences and the community need for productive garden spaces that meet minimum standards. ❧ All gardeners are required to keep individual plots in a planted, productive state or cover-cropped or mulched and free of debris. Weeds and other vegetation must be

controlled to limit their spread to adjacent plots. Gardens must be in a working state by May 15 and winterized by mid-November. ❧ Gardeners with plots that are not maintained to the minimum standards above or do not meet the May 15 or mid-November deadline will be notified, and must take action to bring plots into compliance of minimum standards or meet the intent of the deadline within seven calendar days. Plots that do not meet these requirements after this seven-day deadline will be reassigned, and the gardener’s agreement will be cancelled without refund. If individual plots do not meet minimum standards or the conditions and deadlines below on more than two occasions the gardener’s agreement will be cancelled without additional notification, and the plot will be reassigned. ❧ Garden plots must be in a working state by May 15. By this date gardeners need to have initiated some activities within their garden plots such as garden cleanup, soil preparation, weeding, and planting. ❧ Garden plots must be winterized by mid-November. Annual crops should be harvested, and all dead vegetation (sunflowers, tomato and squash vines, etc.) must be composted or removed from garden plots. Soils must be protected from damaging winter rains, and garden plots can be cover-cropped or mulched with straw or leaves to control grass and weed growth during the winter and early spring. Winter gardens are encouraged, but must be maintained to minimum standards; and cloches or hoop houses must be maintained. Hoses should be coiled and placed in the garden plot, and items such as plastic chairs, fertilizer bags, plastic containers, debris, and other miscellaneous items must be removed from the garden plot.

Additional Garden Rules ❧ Beginning in 2010, residents living within the city of

Eugene will be given first priority for assignment of garden plots through the lottery process. ❧ Gardeners are required to keep the Community Gardens Program notified of changes to home address, phone number email addresses. Accurate contact information ensures delivery of renewal forms and other information in a timely manner. ❧ Your garden plot cannot be transferred to any person or persons. ❧ No Community Garden Program fee refunds will be given after May 31. ❧ Gardeners may not harvest produce or flowers from another plot without permission. ❧ Garden plots are to be used for growing vegetables and flowers for family or personal use, and not for commercial sales. ❧ Vehicles are allowed in the gardens for the sole purpose of transporting produce or materials and supplies used while gardening. Parking vehicles in the gardens is allowed only for these purposes. ❧ Driving vehicles into a garden site when soils are wet and soft is prohibited and drivers may be held responsible for damages. ❧ Responsible water use is required of all gardeners, and gardeners must take steps to ensure that water use is not excessive and does not interfere with adjacent plots or common areas. ❧ Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and any dog waste must be removed by the owner (City Code 2.1990). ❧ Smoking is not allowed in the community gardens. ❧ Garden plots are restricted to the area within the iron boundary stakes at each corner of your garden plot. Plots or

vegetation and gardening supplies may not extend beyond these boundaries into adjacent plots or common areas. Boundary stakes must be kept free of any type of gardening tools or equipment, including trellises and compost bins. ❧ Common areas, such as walkways and roadways, must be kept clear in order to facilitate maintenance activities. Do not pile or throw mulch, weeds, rocks, or other materials into these areas. When not in use, keep hoses out of these common areas. ❧ Trash removal service is not provided in the community gardens except to facilitate the cleanup of plots for new gardeners. Pack it in, pack it out. ❧ The following plants are prohibited: Trees, woody shrubs, grape vines, stinging plants, poison oak, and all plants listed on the City of Eugene’s Invasive Plant List available online at, select Natural Resources and Plant Lists; or receive a print version by calling (541) 682-4800. These plant lists will come under periodic review. ❧ If additional garden plots become available after June 1 gardeners may use a second garden plot. Second plots will be discounted by 50 percent after July 1. Please contact the Community Gardens Program on or after June 1 if you are interested in an additional garden plot if these are available. Please note that second plots are available for one growing season only - March through November - and second plots will be returned to the plot pool for lottery assignment the following year.

Pest Control and Integrated Pest Management
Community Gardens are designated within the Integrated Pest Management Policy of the Parks and Open Space Division as No Pesticide Zones. No registered pesticides

will be used within a Community Garden or within 25 feet of the outside perimeter of Community Garden sites according to this designation. The goal of the Community Gardens Program with respect to IPM is to provide space for and facilitate the production of vegetables, flowers or other desirable crops within a manageable and wellmaintained area, and to foster the responsible stewardship of shared Community Garden spaces in perpetuity. Emphasis is placed first on the prevention of pests, and subsequent, combined management strategies will rely heavily on cultural practices for management of pests and may also include one or more physical (mechanical or manual) strategies. Materials other than registered pesticides may also be used when action thresholds have been reached as elements of an integrated approach. All gardeners are encouraged to refer to the IPM Policy and Operations Manual for more information. The policy and manual on IPM for the City’s Parks and Open Space division can be found online by visiting www.eugene-or. gov/parks and selecting Integrated Pest Management; or receive printed information by calling (541) 682-4800. IPM policy for the community gardens will come under periodic review.

Guidelines for the Community Gardeners
One of the key objectives in community gardening is to work together or next to each other in relative harmony. Please be courteous in all interactions, and work together to resolve any disagreements. Please contact your Site Coordinator or the Program Coordinator for guideline clarifications.

of time and commitment. Please make appropriate arrangements to ensure a well-maintained garden space for everyone in this shared setting. ❧ Please respect the privacy of neighbors close to your Community Gardens. Do not ask to use their telephones or toilets except in emergencies. ❧ Please be considerate of neighbors when driving and parking in the area around the garden. ❧ It is recommended that gardeners remove valuables and lock vehicles while at the Community Gardens. ❧ Please use a wheelbarrow to transport items into the garden instead of a vehicle whenever possible. The Community Gardens Program encourages the use of alternate modes of transportation (bus, bike, walk) when commuting to and from the garden site. ❧ Please be conscientious about water usage. Some garden sites do not have well-drained soils, and neighboring plots can be easily affected by excess water. Limit watering to only the intended crops, and take steps to ensure that neighboring plots are not the recipients of excess water. Do not leave water on overnight and if timers are used for watering, please adjust them appropriately. Please do not interfere with another gardener’s water usage, but please contact the site coordinator as soon as practical if there are issues with overwatering in the garden. ❧ If sprawling vegetation like squash or other vining crops are grown, the vines must be contained within the plot they are grown in, and they must not encroach into neighboring plots or pathways. Vertical crops such as pole beans, corn or sunflowers must be oriented in such a way as

❧ Gardening in a public setting requires a fair amount

to allow adequate light to neighboring plots and must not interfere with pathways or adjacent plots. ❧ Please do not erect permanent structures in the garden plots. ❧ Take care to ensure that perimeter fencing at garden sites remains clear of vegetation from adjacent plots. In addition, soil, mulch, sod, or debris must not be piled or placed against the fence, as this promotes decay and shortens the life of the fence. ❧ The community garden tools are for everyone’s use. Please treat the tools with respect, and return them to the shed when not in use so that others may use them. Replacement tools are a significant cost for the Community Gardens Program. ❧ Entrance into the garden site and tool shed is through a combination lock, and the combination will be changed each year in March. Please lock the gate behind you. ❧ Water will be turned on in early April and turned off in early November. ❧ If you have excess produce, please share. The food bank could always use more. ❧ If you are experiencing vandalism or theft, please report it promptly by calling the non-emergency police line at (541) 682-5111, and then reporting it to the Community Gardens Program Coordinator.

Acknowledgement of Rules and Guidelines
Please sign the enclosed sheet and return it to our office to acknowledge your review of these policies and procedures. Thank you. Enjoy your community garden!

The Community Gardens Program Parks and Open Space Division City of Eugene Public Works 1820 Roosevelt Boulevard Eugene, OR 97402 (541) 682-4800