All-Gardener Meeting March 22 2017

Summit Neighborhood Community Garden – All-Gardener Meeting
Wed. March 22,, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Summit Commons, 99 Hillside Ave, in the Dining Room

22 Attendees

1. Welcome and Introductions (Nancy Buron)

2. Shed Update: (Nancy Buron)
– met with parks dept. and partnership for Prov. parks
– donating metal shed 6 1/2 x 9 feet
– planning to place on cement pad in park

3. Community relations and communications: (Nancy Buron)
– Shared some history for those not familiar:
– garden group formed after years of planning,
– led by SNA (Summit Neighborhood Association), who did several surveys
– vast majority of community said “yes” to the garden
– some people were not in favor of the garden, change can be difficult
– garden group needs to be good communicators
– example of recent challenging change: most plastic toys were removed this week, and some people thought the garden group was responsible
– Nancy Buron responded to a couple people to assure them the garden group is not taking toys
– Dean Weinberg, Pres. of SNA has spoken with several people who were opposed to the garden over time
– please forward any negative or positive feedback to Nancy Buron
– Facebook group of East Side parents has been discussing the removal of toys
and security concerns of having adults at the garden who don’t have kids, and kids getting in garden and pesticides
– none of these will be issues: no pesticides and a coated wire fencing will separate playground from garden.
– need to work on communicating the long term plan for renovating the playground, originally planned to be built along with garden,
but with budget issues playground was delayed, but want to continue to work on that project
and encourage a group of parents to work on playground renovation as a project.
– City Parks architect is working on revised plan for the playground
– there is a grant that was received already for $12,000 dedicated to the playground.
– Kerry writes East Side Monthly, Website, 2 facebook pages, and Listserve email list.
– garden website:
– instagram and facebook will get setup by Rebecca Volynsky
– signage at the park, laminate and put on fences and sign in park.
– potential for letters to the editor, East Side Monthly (Lindsey Adler and Matt might write)

4. Earth Day is April 22 (Nancy Buron)
– clean up in park in general
– wheelbarrow and hose – grant application, not confirmed yet.
– parks dept. will provide mulch
– leaf bags and trash bags and pruning
– also rally for science that same day
– signup sheets with specific time blocks: 9-12 and noon-4

5. Committee Reports:

Education Committee (Annie Voss-Altman)
– wonderful enthusiastic group
– developed overall structure
– planning one major event
– in late july / early august, when garden in full bloom
– focused on kids
– intro to garden
– also ongoing events
– education within the whole garden group, monthly gatherings to share knowledge
– use website as a tool, interactive: recipes, articles, resources
– creating ed. materials for kids that would stay onsite
– get kids more involved
– expertise sharing
– if ideas for focus of education
– please approach a committee member with ideas

Sustainability Committee (Read Porter)
a. composting
– need some way to turn waste from gardening to soil
– need to do research, vermin proof and not smelly
– working on proposal of wood/wire or purchased tumbler
b. water harvesting
– limited surface area on shed, tabled that idea for now
– plan to work with parks dept. about shade sail to collect water in future playground renovation
c. seed saving
– no one on committee knows anything about it
– need to work on that before end of season
– URI resources, and also Fox Point group
– Smith Street garden has a lot of seed starts, and tons of extra seeds, and list of seeds available which can be incorporated into a seed bank

Building Committee: (Douglas Itkin)
– first year for the garden so the building committee has a lot to plan and accomplish
– efforts include: research and design, purchasing materials, then scheduling delivery and build dates
– committee had a very productive meeting with 7 attendees
– next steps planned for Sun. 26th: re-measuring the exact bed sizes and attaching green wire fence to the split rail fence
– scheduled build dates (depending on weather): Sat. April 8th and Sun. 9th, then Sat. 15th
– signup sheets for build days were created to ensure enough volunteers are available

6. Treasury report (Annie Voss-Altman)
– second grant for playground received
– need people to get involved about playground
– all people have paid garden annual fee
– garden account is combined with SNA now, but might be separated in the future
– there is enough money for building the garden this year

7. Sign-ups for: Build Days & Earth Day (Nancy Buron and Cara Liberatore)
– garden build days will be held on Saturday & Sunday, April 8 & 9; Saturday, April 15
– earth Day Spring Cleaning & Mulch Distribution will be Saturday, April 22, 9:00 AM -12:00 PM

8. Free seed distribution.
– close to 300 packets of seeds to distribute thanks to the URI Cooperative Extension free seed program, including veggies, flowers, and herbs – 10 packet maximum per household.
– some packets were left, so they can be distributed at a future time, to those who couldn’t attend the meeting.

Final  note, while Committee involvement is discretionary, participation in some work shifts is mandatory for community garden members.