BYLAWS OF THE PROSPECT HEIGHTS COMMUNITY FARM

Ratified February 23, 2019

ARTICLE I – NAME AND PURPOSE

Section 1 – Name:

The name of the organization shall be Prospect Heights Community Farm (hereafter referred to in these bylaws as “PHCF” and/or “the garden”). It shall be an unincorporated membership organization.

Section 2 – Purpose

PHCF is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes.

PHCF’s purpose is to:

Section 3 – Affiliations:

A land trust designated by the garden membership shall hold the deed to 252, 254, and 256 St. Marks Avenue on behalf of PHCF. PHCF shall be registered with Greenthumb and shall abide by all rules, policies, and procedures established by that organization for its member gardens.

Section 4 – Equal Access

No one shall be denied access to PHCF on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or age, with the exception of children under the age of 16, who must be accompanied by a supervising adult.

ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP

Section 1 – Eligibility for Membership

Application for membership shall be open to any current resident, property owner, business operator, or employee of the City of New York who supports the purpose statement in Article I, Section 2.  No one shall be denied membership on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, ability, or sexual orientation. All members must be 18 years of age or older.

Section 2 -Becoming a Member

Membership is granted after:

Section 3 – Rights and Benefits of Membership

Part A: Access Rights

Each member shall be supplied with a key to enter the garden at any time. The key shall remain the property of PHCF and must be returned to a Member of the Garden Board upon termination of membership.

Part B: Voting Rights

Each member shall be eligible to cast one vote - or abstain from voting - on any motion brought before the full membership at a meeting, including but not limited to:.

Part C: Propose and Carry Out Projects

Each member shall have the right to propose a project to be put to a vote of the Membership, according to the PHCF Project Guidelines posted on the Prospect Heights Community Farm Website and carry it out if it passes.

Part D: Join the Box Waiting List

Each member shall be allowed to put their name on the Box Waiting List to get in line for a Private Box.  In order to maintain their position on the Box Waiting List, Garden Members must be in Good Standing, as defined in Article IV, Section 4, Part E.

Section 4 – Responsibilities and Rules of Membership

Part A – Annual Dues

The amount required for annual dues shall be on a sliding scale of $5 to $25, unless changed by a majority vote of the standing members at the Annual Meeting, as defined in Section III, Article 1. Continued membership is contingent upon being current on membership dues. Membership dues must be paid by the May meeting every year.

Part B: Service Hours

Garden Members shall perform a minimum of 10 Service Hours, unless they are Box Holders, in which case they will follow the requirements outlined in Article II, Section 5. Service Hours may be fulfilled by are defined as keeping the garden open during scheduled Open Hours or and working on a service project led by a project manager or coordinator.  At least 60% of a member’s Service Hours requirement must be filled by completing Open Hours service, specifically. Participation in regularly scheduled work days that happen to coincide with open hours does not fulfill this percentage requirement. Members are expected to follow the Guidelines for Service Hours posted on the PHCF website.

Part C: Meeting Attendance

Garden Members shall be required to attend no fewer than 1 garden meeting per Garden Year, excluding the the initial meeting required to become a member, as outlined in Article II, Section 3, unless they are Box Holders, in which case they will follow the requirements outlined in Article II, Section 5.  Each member must attend 50% of scheduled meeting time in order to be counted as having attended. The Secretary and Treasurer shall track attendance at all meetings to ensure compliance.

Part D: Ground Rules and Guidelines

In order for the Prospect Heights Community Farm to fulfill its mission and serve as a welcoming and safe space for all garden members and visitors, members agree to abide by the Ground Rules and Guidelines, which shall we be posted on the PHCF Website. Ground Rules and Guidelines may, with adequate notice,  be amended at any garden meeting by a simple majority vote of a quorum of members as defined in Article III, Section 5.  In order to be brought to a vote, proposed changes to Ground Rules and Guidelines must be sent out to the Garden Membership for review no fewer than two weeks before a meeting and be included in the agenda that is sent out by the Garden Administrator.

Part E: Good Standing

A Garden Member who has paid dues as required by Article II, Section 3, attended meetings, and fulfilled Service Hours as required by Article II, Section 5 shall be considered in good standing with PHCF.

The good standing of Garden Members shall be determined by the Service Coordinator no later than the Annual Meeting, as defined in Article III, Section 2, and will be based on the Garden Member’s fulfillment of Member responsibilities during the previous Garden Year.

Part F: Exemptions from Service Hours

Exemptions from Service Hours may be made in the following cases pending member request, demonstration of need, and board approval. Exemptions for Meeting Attendance will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Section 5 - Box Holders 

Box Holders are defined as Members who have been assigned a Private Box.

Part A - Service Hours and Meetings

In addition to paying their Annual Dues, Box Holders must meet the following requirements in order to be allowed to maintain their Private Box:

Part B - Box Cultivation Requirements

In addition to fulfilling the requirements above, Box Holders are subject to the following requirements , if they wish to retain their boxes:

Part C - Box Cultivation Standards

Part D - Box Loans

                  

Section 6 – Disciplinary Action

In the spirit of continued cooperation and peace among the gardeners, the garden members have adopted the following provisions should be followed to address any violations of the Prospect Heights Community Farm Bylaws and Ground Rules.

ARTICLE III – MEETINGS OF MEMBERS

Section 1 – Regular Meetings

Regular meetings of the members shall be held monthly, beginning in February/March and ending in November of every year.

Section 2 - Annual Meeting

The first meeting of the year is defined as the Annual Meeting, during which the Garden Board is elected and Bylaws changes may be voted on.

Section 3 – Special Meetings

Special meetings may be called by the Garden Coordinator, the Garden Board, or a simple majority of the Garden Members upon two weeks written notice in accordance with Article III section 3.

Section 4 – Notice of Meetings

The schedule of regular meetings shall be set at the Annual Meeting and posted on the PHCF website and on the garden fence within 30 days thereafter. In addition, printed notice of each regular meeting shall be posted in a prominent and highly visible place in the Garden no less than two weeks prior to the meeting. Notice of the regular meetings will also be communicated to Garden Members via E-Mail.  Notice of the Annual Meeting will be communicated to the Garden Members via e-mail, the PHCF website, and, for garden members who do not have Internet access and who so notify the Garden Board, by regular mail or telephone at least two weeks in advance.

Section 5 – Quorum

A quorum shall be determined by March 31 of every year for meetings held over the following twelve months. A quorum for the purposes of the Annual Meeting, regular meetings and special meetings shall consist of 33 percent of Garden Members in good standing, as defined in Article II, Section 7.

Section 6 – Voting

All issues to be voted on shall be decided by a simple majority vote of those members present at the meeting at which the vote takes place.

Section 7 - Meeting Guidelines

All meetings will be run in accordance with the PHCF Meeting Guidelines posted on the Prospect Heights Community Farm website.

ARTICLE IV – GARDEN BOARD

Section 1 – Board Role, Composition, and Compensation

The Garden Board is responsible for leading Garden Members in achieving the PHCF Mission, as described in Article I, Section 2. The Garden Board shall consist of the elected Positions described in Article IV, Section 5. Members of the Garden Board receive no monetary compensation but may reduce their required services hours by 50%.

Section 2 – Meetings and Notice

The Garden Board shall meet at least three times per Garden Year, at an agreed upon time and place. An official Garden Board meeting requires that each board member have notice at least two weeks in advance. Official Garden Board Meetings are open to the Garden Membership for non-participatory observation, and a notice shall also be sent to Garden Members at least one week in advance of a Board Meeting.

Section 3 – Board Elections, Terms, and Eligibility

Section 4 – Garden Board Collective Duties

The Garden Board acts as a steering committee for PHCF, developing policies and procedures in accordance with the priorities of the larger PHCF community. The Garden Board also administers conflict arbitration and resolution in accordance with the policies set forth in the Ground Rules and Guidelines, as well as the Disciplinary Action steps outlined in Article 2 Section 8.

Section 5 – Positions and Duties

The Garden Board is comprised of the 9 positions listed below:

The Garden Administrators responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

The Secretary’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

The Treasurer’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

The Land Trust Representative’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

The Master Gardener’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

The Compost Coordinator’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

The Communication Coordinator’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

The Service Hours Coordinator’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

The Box Coordinator’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Section 6 – Emeritus Positions

The Garden Members may move for the creation of no more than two non-voting, advisory Emeritus Positions on the garden board at the Annual Meeting. The positions shall be subject to the same terms as outlined in Article IV, Section 3. Garden members must be nominated to the position by a seconded motion and elected by a majority vote during the Annual Meeting. The emeritus positions are generally held by former Garden Administrators whose role is to provide continuity and context from one year to the next.

Section 7 – Resignation and Termination

Resignation from the board must be in writing (which includes e-mail) and delivered to the Secretary. A board member shall be terminated from the board due to excess absences. A board member may be removed for other reasons by a three-fourths vote from the remaining members. When a Garden Board Member resigns or is terminated, the Garden Board may choose to appoint a Garden Member to the open position temporarily until the next Annual Meeting. Because this person will not have been elected by the General Membership at the Annual Meeting, they will not have voting rights at the Garden Board meetings.

ARTICLE V – AMENDMENTS

Section 1 – Amendments

These bylaws may be amended by two-thirds majority note at the Annual Meeting or at the September meeting of the members of the garden where a quorum has been clearly established. Any bylaws amendment proposals must be sent out to the Garden Membership for review no fewer than two weeks before the meeting, in order to be considered. For a September meeting vote must have been on the agenda for and discussed at the previous July meeting of that Garden Year.

Version History:

2/23/2019 - Extensive Revisions Made. Updated and Ratified at the Annual Meeting.

March 2018 Version

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