2023 Membership Agreement

Privileges, Rules and Requirements of Membership, Common Agreements
and Important Dates for the 2023 Season

Because all of our planting beds have been claimed for this season, we are not accepting new applications for planting membership. If you’d like to be a supporting member, contact our membership chair, Janet Peterman, at membership@hansberrygarden.org. We always welcome neighbors, volunteers and supporters at our monthly potluck dinners, Tend the Garden Days, and other public events. For more information, see our events calendar.

HGNC Shared Commitments

Signing an agreement for a planting bed or for a supporting membership to Hansberry Garden and Nature Center is an agreement to the following shared commitments:

  • We agree to share Hansberry Garden’s approach to protecting our environment through the use of nontoxic solutions to soil-health and horticulture problems. Synthetic chemicals (for example, pesticides, herbicides, and nonorganic fertilizers) are prohibited. We agree to contact a board member for approval before using any nonorganic method or substance anywhere in the garden.
  • We understand that HGNC is a welcoming and fully inclusive organization that strives to maintain an environment of amity and mutual respect. Therefore, insulting, rude, or otherwise inappropriate conduct that the board determines to be consistently disruptive to our community may result in loss of membership and its attendant privileges.
  • We agree to respect our fellow garden members and visitors with our actions and in our communications.
  • We understand that HGNC operates on an honor system; membership in this garden is a position of trust. Accordingly, theft of any kind from members or of HGNC property will result in the immediate loss of membership and all attendant privileges, loss of right to harvest, and/or possible legal action.
  • As a community, we welcome children and always encourage them to come to the garden to play or plant. In the interest of safety, children must be accompanied and supervised by at least one adult, age 18 or older, for the duration of their visit.
  • We understand that Hansberry Garden is an all-volunteer organization, requiring the participation of all members to succeed.
    • HGNC is governed by a governing board with elected officers. Any member may attend a board meeting and are encouraged to do so. Board meetings will appear on HGNC’s online calendar.
    • A minimum of 10 volunteer hours is required of each planting-bed household per year to remain in good standing and therefore able to keep the same planting bed for the following year. (See “Membership Requirements” below.) HGNC tracks volunteer hours of members to help us better share the work of the garden with each other and to support grant proposals for funding. Keeping track of additional hours beyond the minimum number required helps with our attempts to secure grant funding.
    • Members are also encouraged to support and assist with fundraising efforts of HGNC (e.g., Mother’s Day weekend plant sale; smaller events through the season; letters inviting ).
  • We grant Hansberry Garden & Nature Center permission to use our likenesses in photographs, videos, or other digital media in any and all of its publications, including web-based publications, without payment or other consideration.
  • We understand that neither HGNC, the HGNC Board, nor any HGNC member is responsible for our actions. We therefore agree to indemnify and hold harmless HGNC Inc., or its board, collectively or individually, for any liability, loss or claim that occurs in connection with the use of HGNC by us or any of our family or guests.
  • I/We understand that I am/we are responsible for any damage, loss or theft caused by me, my family and/or my guests and that I/we may be subject to making restitution to HGNC for such damage.

Privileges of Planting Membership

  1. Each $40 planting-membership fee covers one planting bed or membership in our Garden Collective. Scholarships are available to cover the membership fee or part of it. Sharing a membership with a friend does not increase the cost unless you want an additional set of keys. Initially the key fee is $5 per person for the first set of keys. Replacement keys are at market rate.
  2. Members have full access to tools, water, and supplies stored in the tool shed and gardening resources available on site to cultivate their own beds. Water is available at several locations on site, from the same city-provided source. When all are used simultaneously, the pressure drops.)
  3. Members are entitled to attend Board meetings, special members’ events, and all community events or workshops hosted by Hansberry Garden.  

Practical Gardening Agreements for our Shared Use of Space

  • Members will notify the Membership Chair of extended absences during the growing season to specify maintenance and harvest arrangements during the absence.
  • Plants in members’ beds must not block walkways or impinge upon neighboring beds.
  • Members will not plant outside their beds unless approved by the Landscape/Maintenance Chair.
  • Planting bed holders need to have their beds cleared and planted by May 31 or they forfeit the use of their planting bed to someone on the Wait List. Please ask for assistance from a mentor or consider joining the Garden Collective if you have trouble getting started!
  • Members agree to harvest produce in a timely manner from their planting bed. If ripe produce is neglected in a bed, members should expect to hear from someone about donating their produce to the City Harvest Program.  

How Do You Become a Member?

Priority for planting beds will be given to residents living in Southwest Germantown, defined by these borders: Chelten Avenue to Wayne Junction; Germantown Avenue to Wissahickon Avenue; and secondarily to Philadelphia City residents.

Members in good standing who already hold planting beds are not affected by this rule change, made in 2021.

  • Members agree to attend the annual Spring Gathering on March 25, 2023,
  • 10 a.m. to noon (at the garden, Wayne & Hansberry), weather permitting. Rain location: the new Germantown Weavers Way office space, 326B W Chelten Avenue.
  • Membership becomes active when
    • HGNC receives the annual $40 membership fee or a request for a scholarship and a membership application form (online form at https://forms.gle/FtfCD8AzG5i7GhNBA; printable version at Membership Application Form 2023.pdf) which is confirmed received by someone on the Membership Team.
    • HGNC receives the $5 key fee (new members only)
    • AND members have attended the Spring Gathering (new and returning members) and an orientation session (required for new members, if a planting bed is available).

Returning members who have gardened with HGNC for at least one season consecutively who renew after February 26 may begin gardening prior to the Spring Gathering after having a conversation with the Membership Chair: [215-327-8727], in order to take advantage of early spring crops and early bed preparation as soon as the ground thaws.

2023 Membership Requirements Include

  • Members commit to completing ten (10) volunteer hours per Planting Bed household during the course of the season: March through October.
  • Where possible, unless work or health concerns prevent, members should include attending at least 3 Tend the Garden Days in their work total.
  • Hours beyond 10 for the season are not required but are welcome! They demonstrate the garden’s strength, especially to possible grant funders.
  • The Board and Committees will provide multiple ways for you to fulfill this membership requirement. You are welcome to keep giving, once your required hours are completed:
    • Monthly Tend the Garden Days (group workdays, lots of fun, but on Saturdays, when some can’t attend) 
    • Posted Task Lists online and at the garden following workdays, follow-up for individuals who can’t make the workdays
    • Tasks for those who can’t do physical labor
    • Committee work, leadership roles
    • Events staffing and planning
    • Other needs lifted up through the season

Event Hosts/Committee Leaders will provide sign-in sheets to gather volunteer hours for group events. There is also a Garden Member Notebook kept in the shed for members to keep track of participation in fulfilling required hours (and more!) for the season. Other sign-up methods may be added later in the season.

Important Dates for 2023

  • Membership Renewal opens Feb 26.
  • Membership Renewal deadline to keep your bed or place in the Garden Collective from 2022: March 6. Returning members will pay the $40 membership fee or request scholarship assistance and submit membership agreements by March 6 in order to maintain use of the same bed from the previous year. This date is a couple weeks before the Spring Gathering, a required meeting for all new members, and encouraged for all members, held Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to noon. The meeting will be held at the garden, weather permitting. Rain location: the new Germantown Weavers Way office space, 326B W Chelten Avenue.
  • If membership has not been renewed by March 6, availability of a planting bed and use of the same bed is not guaranteed. Beds will be reassigned beginning Tuesday, March 7.
  • Planting bed holders need to have their beds cultivated by May 31 or they forfeit the use of their planting bed to someone on the Wait List.
  • The garden season ends on Nov 1. To minimize the spread of fungus and other garden diseases spreading throughout the garden, planting bed holders must clear their beds of all summer growth before this date. Any who want to use a cover crop or who have overwintering crops in their bed may seek permission of Membership to extend their growing season beyond November 1. Other crops left in planting beds beyond November 1 are donated to City Harvest.