GreenThumb Garden Handbook changes by the NYC Parks Dept 8/16/19

To the New York City Community Garden Coalition and Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens:

At three meetings (June 17,2019;July 24,2019; and August 1,2019) with members of the NYC Parks staff,you shared your feedback about the GreenThumb license and handbook.As representatives of neighborhood gardens and as gardeners yourselves,you have decades of hands-on experience in community gardening, and we appreciate  that you have applied your expertise  to your critique of GreenThumb’s policies.

In response to your concerns and your requests for clarification on a number of items,we will insert the following new,clarifying language in the GreenThumb Handbook,and notify all gardeners of these changes:

•        Pets -Update: If a group wants to prohibit pets in its bylaws, it should contact its GreenThumb coordinator and request signage from GreenThumb. Gardens may not prohibit service animals under the federal, state, or local/ow.

•        Site inspections -Update:Outreach Coordinators will notify gardeners in advance of annual site inspections in order to invite them to attend the process, and we hope that garden groups will take this opportunity to participate in this annual event.

•        Handbook -updates Update: Any future changes will be added to the Gardeners’ Handbook on a quarterly basis (if needed) and announcements will be communicated on the GreenThumb website and social media,as well as directly to Ucensed garden groups via email and US Mail.

•        Abandonment:Update: Garden groups that have abandoned their gardens or are determined by GreenThumb to be unable or unwilling to address and rectify violations will be at risk of having their License Agreement terminated by GreenThumb, and their access to the garden revoked. Abandonment includes but is not limited to failing to maintain the garden,respond to correspondence, or hold required public hours and events.

•        Event submissions: Update: For any event that has not yet been scheduled as of the relevant submission date above, gardens must notify their GreenThumb Outreach Coordinator as soon as the event is scheduled. GreenThumb will make best efforts to expedite its review af these submissions and provide a response as soon as possible.

• Community Supported Agriculture: Update:GreenThumb community gardens on NYC Parks property can serve as distribution sitesfor externally grown produce distributed via Community-supported Agriculture programs {CSAs). Please note, however, that community gardens may not serve as the site of any financial transactions for CSAs unless all of the produce was grown on-site at o GreenThumb community garden or prior written approval has been provided  by NYC Parks.

In addition to these edits to the Handbook, please also note that  the 2019 licenses have been amended in two significant ways:

• Indemnification:The following language, which appeared in the 2016 license, has been removed and is not present in the 2019 license:Licensee shall forever defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the City, its agents, representatives,and employees from and against any and all

1) claims for  damages by reason of injury to persons or damage to property, including  property of the City, arising from work or activities  of any nature performed by or on behalf of Licensee, whether pursuant  to this License or otherwise, and 2) liens and encumbrances which may be placed,filed, or recorded against the Garden as a result of work or other activities of any nature performed by or on behalf of Licensee, whether pursuant  to this License or otherwise and, when, as, and if any such lien or encumbrance is placed,filed, or recorded against the Garden, to immediately remove, satisfy, or otherwise discharge the same.

• Fundraising: Two fundraisers  are now permitted in GreenThumb gardens, subject to GreenThumb approval.

As you know, the deadline for gardens on parkland to sign licenses is August 19, 2019.We look forward to working with you following the conclusion of the licensing process.

Thank you for your commitment to NYC’s community gardens.