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Board Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes

Dunwoody Community Garden

The regular meeting of Dunwoody Community Garden was duly called and held on September 11, 2011 at the Greenhouse at the Brook Run Garden at 7:00 p.m.

Present were: Don Converse; Rod Pittman; Angela Minyard; Muriel Knope; Theresa Meschede ; Susan Wynn; and Nicole Maslanka

With the approval of the directors present, Don Converse acted as Chairman of the meeting and Nicole Maslanka (newly appointed Secretary) recorded the minutes.

Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer (Angela Minyard) gave a brief report noting $4,165.00 as available balance as of 9/1/2011.  Current allocated funds include: $103.00- St. Pat’s Community Garden (balance of their own money); $500.00-Emergency funds for the Dunwoody Community Garden; $911.00- Remaining Food Pantry Team allocation; for a total of $1,515.00  in remaining allocated funds.  This leaves $2,650.00 in available funds to the Garden.

Minutes from prior meeting had been previously approved by the Board and distributed to the membership.

As there were Board positions needing to be filled (e.g., co-chair and secretary) , nominations were made for both positions and filled by Muriel Knope (Co-Chair) and Nicole Maslanka (Secretary)

As this was the first meeting of the newly elected Board for 2011, there were a number of issues discussed:

1. As part of the discussion of the Garden’s budget, it was noted that of the $1000.00 previously allocated to the Greenhouse, there was now a negative balance of funds.  Noting that there were planned improvement projects being supported by the Dunwoody Women’s Club Club (Shade Garden), and Dunwoody Garden Club (Pollinator Garden) it was suggested that there was a need to have  a budget submitted by the Greenhouse team for consideration.

Action Item: An operating budget will be requested from Diana Woods

2. At present there are 69 active garden members.  Given a $50.00 per year membership fee this is an annual generated budget of $3,450.00.  It is clear that there are many generous donations of time and money being provided to the Garden for its maintenance and it was deemed important to determine the Garden’s actual operating costs.

Action Item: Nicole Maslanka was appointed Chair of Committee to determine value of in-kind services of Garden members as well as actual dollar value donations to support operation of existing garden. Rod Pittman and Theresa Meschede will assist in collection of this data.  Data will be used to support grant submissions and updates to the City regarding our services to the community.

The group agreed a simple method for keeping up with volunteer hours would be implemented at the garden (volunteer hours posted on a calendar, etc.)

Team Leaders  will be requested to submit expenses and volunteer hours on a (frequency to be determined)  basis to the Board for inclusion in grant applications etc.

Action Item: Muriel will contact team leaders and request a “state of the team” report prior to the next Board meeting

It was noted that we should also keep track of all education outreach activities such as lectures conducted by Rod Pittman and others to various groups as well as assistance to school gardens and new community gardens.

3. There was extensive discussion about the newly formed school garden team and its affiliation with Grow Dunwoody.  This will be clarified with Rebecca Barria prior to our next meeting.

The formation of teams and their official recognition by the Garden was briefly discussed and a mechanism to formalize this will be examined as part of the review of our by-laws.

Action Item: A By-laws Committee was formed to review the current bylaws and address the following areas (Muriel Knope; Nicole Maslanka; Susan Wynn):

Membership-(should there be a secondary level such as “friends of the garden”; “Turn Key Plots” to encourage new membership (will examine cost of these versus current plot)-there are 11 plots available

Team Food Pantry Allocation of Space (Garden and Greenhouse)

Process for Creating Teams: Reporting of Team Leaders to the Board, Funding of Teams, Goals and objectives of the teams, etc.

4. The Board Members requested contact information which will be distributed to them as an Appendix A

5.  It was agreed that the Garden would participate in the Food Day Tour.

Action Item: Muriel will organize Food Day activities with assistance of Theresa Meschede.  Don Converse and Muriel Knope will be listed as the contact person for the event.

Action Item: Fall clean up days will be scheduled prior to this event.  Dates suggested were October 15/16 and October 22/23. (dates and number of days to be finalized) FINAL DATES SELECTED ARE October 15-16, 2011

6. A current controversy surrounding county compost use (which can be obtained for free) in the organic garden was discussed.  Rod Pittman has had the soil evaluated as well as Farmer D’s organic compost evaluated.

Action Item: Susan Wynn will compile the reports obtained by Rod on both products and gather any additional information regarding the county compost that is required to determine its safety for use in an organic garden

7. Discussion regarding current management of Domain Name and email was discussed

Action Item: Angela Minyard will take over email to main organization. We will assess how to assure continued payment for Domain name currently paid for by Rebecca Barria’s husband.

8. A request was made by Bettina Smalley to borrow garden tools for her school garden preparation activities.  It was agreed that this was ok.  Don will coordinate.

9. Interest expressed by anonymous donor to support digging a well for the Garden with a $500.00 contribution was discussed.  This was tabled for further discussion at a later time. At present the City Master Park Plan includes this activity.

10. Current “quid pro quo” activities of the garden for the city for use of land were reviewed.  At present these include: growing plants for the city.

11.  Don has been approached by the Citizens for Dunwoody to make a presentation to the Board on the Bond Referendum.  More information to follow.

12. Development of a Grant Writing Team was discussed and will be addressed as part of the development of a Plan for the Garden

Status of the above action items will be reviewed at the next Board Meeting.

The Board meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m. by Don Converse.  Next meeting will be October 12, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Rod Pittman’s house:

4343 Village Oak Lane

Dunwoody, Ga 30338


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Thursday, June 23
3:00 – 4:30 pm
Goldberg’s Deli

Don Converse
Muriel Knope
Angela Minyard
Diana Wood
Rebecca Barria

Carl and Jackie Franklin

Expansion Update:
We added 32 new plots. The north side is now full. There are 12 plots open in the south side.

Out of 80 members, only 16 still need to sign up for a garden team. Many of those people are new members, so they may still be deciding how to get involved. Rebecca will follow up with everyone not yet on a team.

Board of Directors:
We proposed to expand the board by from a maximum of 7 people to a maximum of 9. According to the bylaws, members must vote to approve the proposal at a meeting and must be made aware of the proposed change two weeks prior to the vote. The date of the meeting has not yet been set, but it will likely coincide with a social or education event.

Communal Plot:
Five members are participating in a communal plot. Rebecca will review the bylaws to determine if we need to propose a change to the bylaws to make this arrangement “legal.”

The city has agreed to install two faucets inside the garden fence, but we do not know when the work will be completed. We will keep using the cistern even with the addition of the faucets. Don will look into the filter options for the faucet for removing chlorine, etc. Ann spoke with Brent Walker, the parks manager, about the possibility of a well in the near future or when Brook Run is developed, but she was not present at the meeting to give us an update. Diana shared ideas regarding a water tower for the greenhouse and updated us on the status of the sprinkler system inside the greenhouse.

School Gardens:
A student from DHS contacted us about his proposal to install gardens in every school in Dunwoody. We discussed the challenges he will likely face with a project of this scale, but we also expressed interest in helping him shape his proposal into something achievable in the short term. Rebecca will set up a meeting with the student and invite the board and interested members to attend.

Rhonda Bercoon, from Brandeis National Committee, Atlanta Chapter, contacted us to see if we’d host a workshop in March for her group. Shawn Bard has volunteered to teach a workshop. Location is TBA. We agreed to host the workshop.

Diana discussed with us various greenhouse projects, such as the Dunwoody Pines outreach effort, getting the small greenhouse in working order for city plantings, solarizing the flower beds, the butterfly garden, the berry patch, the ADA beds, and the outdoor paths.

Don will select a workday TBA and determine our needs.

Treasurer’s Report:
Angela said we have approximately $4900 in the bank, $2000 of which is earmarked for various funds (emergency fund, food pantry, etc.). Don will submit receipts for the fence expansion, which will be paid with money from new member dues. Diana will draft a budget for the greenhouse to present at the next meeting. We also need to contact the pantry team to find out if they plan to request a budget increase.

Pantry Beds:
We counted 11 pantry beds that are part of the numbered plots. Pattie Baker, the pantry co-leader, has requested two additional beds. The board would like to create those two beds on the perimeter of the garden and give them more space if desired. We want to make sure that we keep 10 percent of the numbered plots set aside for pantry beds and supplement with enough border beds to keep our overall donations at 20 percent of total harvests or greater.

Next Meeting:

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Board Meeting Minutes
Thursday, May 26, 2011
3:00 – 4:30 pm

Board Members Present:

  • Don Converse
  • Angela Minyard
  • Ann DoVanQuy
  • Diana Wood
  • Rebecca Barria (left early)


  • Rod Pittman
  • Murial Knope


  • Adrian Bonser (honorary board member)
  • Karen Converse

Expansion Details. We walked through the expansion areas of the garden and discussed layout, including how to handle the pantry and demonstration beds located on the old borders of the garden. Don, Diana, and Angela planned to meet Friday to stake plots and prep the area for the workday. New members will be asked to attend a workday to select their plots and mulch the paths. Don will lead the workday and set the date for June 4, time TBA. Rebecca will email everyone on the waiting list to invite them to join our membership and attend the workday.

Water. Rebecca reported that Brent Walker, the parks & rec manager, has agreed to install two faucets closer to the garden now that we are expanding. Don will coordinate with Brent about the location of the faucets and plumbing logistics. Diana will meet with a consultant to discuss the rain harvesting system at the greenhouse and the cistern/faucet system at the garden. We may purchase an additional cistern. We discussed the possibility of installing a well and determined more research is needed.

Master Plan. We’d like to get more details regarding the boundaries of the garden on the new Brook Run master plan so that we can move forward with plans for a linear orchard. Discussed possible future expansions models, such as larger plots, communal gardening, and urban farm.

First Aid. We will purchase a simple first aid kit to keep in the toolshed.

Greenhouse Landscaping. Diana and Karen presented a plan for the greenhouse landscaping. The plan includes a water harvesting system, and irrigation system, ADA beds, a safety fence around the vent control system, and requests for the city crews to remove dead/diseased shrubs/trees, rebuild a retaining wall, repair the fence, install gutters on the barn for the rain harvesting system, and repair the swamp wall in the small greenhouse. Diana will present the plan to Brent Walker, the city’s parks & rec manager.

Weekly Tips. Non-board member, Karen Converse, expressed appreciation for Rebecca’s email alert to members about squash bugs, complete with photos and organic control measures.  She opined that regular weekly “tips” sent via email to members would be a good way to provide timely educational information. Rebecca will send out weekly(ish) tips based on gardener’s questions and timely issues.

Workdays. Karen also suggested that a regular schedule of monthly workdays would help members plan ahead to contribute their efforts toward the common areas.  One Saturday a month and one weekday a month (to accommodate members’ availability) could be the designated “garden days”, with supervision being provided via rotation of team leaders or board members.  A regular schedule might also help to provide the structure needed for organization of work tasks.  (This type of schedule was observed to work successfully at Donaldson and Tucker Master Gardener sites.)

Next Meeting Date: TBA



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Our next board meeting will be Thursday, May 26 at 3:00 PM at the
garden.  (In the event of rain, we’ll meet at Goldberg’s Deli in Georgetown Square.)

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Membership Meeting & Potluck
Saturday, May 14, 2011
9:30 am: Mingle
10:00 am – 11:00 am: Membership Meeting
11:00 am (ish): Q & A (Ask an accomplished gardener!)
Noon(ish): Potluck 

                                                 Meeting Agenda

·      Introduction of current board members

·      Introduction of newest board member

·      Chairperson’s remarks

·      Rules & Procedures highlights

  • Organic method required
  • Year-round cultivation & paths maintenance required
  • No rotting fruit in plots! (Email pantry team)

·      Recruitment for garden TEAMS

·      Expansion news

·      Budget update

·      Spring plant sale recap

·      Food pantry team status

·      Reminder re: September elections

·      Questions?

·      Next meeting (TBA—late summer 2011)

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Saturday, May 14th 
9:30 am: Mingle with Members
10:00 am: Membership Meeting Promptly Starts
11:00 am (ish):  Q & A (Ask our experts!)
Noon (ish): Potluck

Bring a dish to share! Also, bring your own plates and utensils. We are a no-waste zone, so please leave no trash behind. We will, however, happily take your compostables!

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Board Meeting

Our next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 18th from 10:00 – 11:30 am.

We will meet at the garden if the weather is nice and Goldberg’ Deli in Georgetown Square if it is not.

Members and visitors are welcome to listen in on our meeting.

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