Garden Rules


A hard copy of this Agreement is provided each year to gardeners. A representative from every plot must sign this agreement to receive a plot in Two Coves Community Garden. This agreement pertains to your entire plot and those who work on it.

By signing below I agree I have attended an orientation session and understand the membership packet, including the Two Coves Garden Rules of Conduct (Rules) and Obligations of Gardeners (Obligations). I understand that if I do not follow the Rules, Obligations, and information outlined on this page I may lose membership in Two Coves Garden. I further understand:

  • We operate on a democratic process of monthly meetings of the garden membership in which decisions are passed by a majority vote. As voted in March 2010 all gardeners must attend at least two membership meetings in 2010. I have the right to express my views and vote at the meetings.
  • I agree to fulfill my required 2-hours per month of volunteer time.
  • The Rules and Obligations have been created by the garden members. Changes in the Rules and Obligations made by the garden members may affect my plot or public space. I am encouraged to participate in the garden’s decision and rule-making process.
  • I am expected to follow any changes in the Rules and Obligations made throughout the year.
  • Two Coves Community Garden exists on New York City property. My suggested donation is to aid in the communal upkeep of the garden and does not in any way entitle me to property rights of my plot, or any part of the garden.
  • I may not sublet, sell, or gift my plot to anyone.
  • All tools and materials in the communal shed are supplied as garden-wide tools and must be replaced after use.
  • Membership renewal occurs on an annual basis.
  • Green Thumb encourages the cultivation of edible plants. (Two Coves is a registered Green Thumb garden.)

If you fail in these obligations consistently, your plot can be assigned to another gardener.  You are also required to respect all general rules of conduct for the garden. You will receive no more two warnings regarding violations before being required to either attend mediation or forfeit your plot.


  Plot Maintenance. If you have taken responsibility for a plot, you must control invasive weeds, pests, and disease in your plot. Weeds should be pulled, and should not be allowed to go to seed-- Due to mosquito breeding, uncovered standing water is not permitted in the garden. Uncovered standing water on your plot can be drained or emptied without your consent.

2.  Poison Free. Do not use chemical pesticides (including synthetic insecticides, herbicides, larvacides, and fungicides) in the garden.

3.  No Permanent Structures Without a Permit or approval from Green Thumb's Director of Operations, Harold Paytner. You may not build a structure with a solid, inflexible roof.  You may not build a structure that is enclosed on more than three sides. You may not build a structure taller than nine feet high.*

4. Litter. Volunteers must spend at least an hour every month bagging litter in the garden, and taking the bags to the curb outside the entrance. If you see large amounts of garbage on the adjacent sidewalk, they must be collected and moved to the area directly outside of and to the right of our front gate.

5. Monitor Duties. You must commit to a single 2 hour block of time per month when you can host the garden during open hours. If open hours are completely unworkable with your schedule, than you and the site coordinator must find agreement on a monthly 2 hour block for you to do other community duties such as litter pick up or composting.

6. Forbidden Plants. Do not cultivate dangerous or illegal plants. ( i.e., poison ivy, poison mushrooms, etc. )

7. Contact Information. The garden must have your address, telephone number and email address in order to facilitate communication. If your contact information changes, call or email the garden.*

8. Orientation. It is required for gardeners to attend the spring orientation.


1.  Do Not Touch A Plot Without Expressed Permission of Its Supervisor. If you see a problem with somebody else's maintenance, contact them or the Site Coordinator.  Do not make alterations to any of the common areas without the clearly expressed permission of the Site Coordinator.

2. A Non-threatening Environment. Anyone who makes a threat against another person's physical well-being can be banned from the garden.     
3. Respect Supplies and Equipment. Do not remove supplies or plantings from the garden, unless they are yours and yours alone. However, gardeners are expected to care for the garden's tools as if they were their own.  Tools must be returned to the storage area before you leave the garden.

4. No Dogs Are Allowed in the Garden.

5. No Smoking Is Permitted in the Garden. *

6. No Alcoholic Beverages May Be Consumed in the Garden Outside of a Legally Permitted Event. *

7. No Children Unattended. No child under the age of 14 is admitted into the garden without a parent. No child under the age of 16 is permitted in the garden without the expressed permission of a parent. Parents of any child under 18 are fully responsible for their child's activity in the garden.

No Loud Radios Outside a Permitted Event. Gardener’s radios cannot be audible outside of their plots. Headphones are strongly encouraged.

9. No Paid Advertising is permitted to be displayed in the garden.

10. No Gambling is permitted in the garden. *

11. Ridding bicycles in the garden is prohibited. A provision to allow careful use of a bicycle to transport heavy items, such as compost, has been made.

When a gardener believes a rule has been violated and cannot amicably resolve the issue with another gardener, this should be brought to the Steering Committee’s attention. The Steering Committee will review the dispute and if warranted the garden will issue a warning to the gardener.  This warning will be made public to the entire membership of the garden.

The garden will attempt to resolve all disputes (including the use of a third-party mediator and additional meetings), but with the third warning the gardener will lose his or her plot and membership in Two Coves Community Garden permanently.

* An asterisk represents Rules of Green Thumb/NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.