Managing a Community Garden Group
Managing a community of gardeners is no easy feat. Detailed planning, efficient delegation and clear communication is needed to sustain the group and keep the Community Garden running. Thankfully, there are some management strategies that can be used to keep volunteers happy and productive.
Assigning volunteer roles
Assigning specific roles will help your volunteers develop a sense of ownership and responsibility towards the community garden. It is crucial to know what your volunteers are interested in to maximise their strength in their assigned roles. Taking time to know your individual volunteers and working with them to choose their roles will make this process easier, and will pay off in the long run.
Here are some examples of roles that you can consider for your gardening group:
- Guide and direct the gardening group over a set term (e.g. 1-3 years)
- Act as a liaison between the gardening group and other stakeholders, e.g. Residents’ Committee (RC), Neighbourhood Committee (NC), Residents’ Network (RN), NParks, Town Council, Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST)
- Ensure gardening rules, policies and advisories are adhered to
- Secure and handle funds and financial matters for the gardening group
- Coordinate and organise events to engage the other members of the group, such as visits to gardening events or other Community Gardens, or arrange gardening programmes for residents, seniors or school children
- Communicate with the rest of the group on activities and events
- Create content for flyers, brochures and social media posts to promote the garden and engage members of the group
- Recruit new volunteers and create a contact log for communication purposes
Goal setting and calendar of events
Setting goals is a good way to keep your gardening group united and on track. Working as a team, volunteers can discuss and coordinate to plan projects for the year and beyond.
Based on the goals and objectives discussed, the community can then plan a calendar of events and activities. This calendar will help you break down a bigger goal into numerous, more manageable short-term steps towards the final goal. Below is a sample calendar of events for reference:
Sustaining interest in gardening
Gardeners that learn are gardeners that improve! Scheduling learning journeys to other Community Gardens, attending gardening events, and collaborating with other stakeholders are fun ways to enrich your community’s gardening experience by exposing them to new ideas and techniques. If your community is up for the challenge, they can also consider joining the Community In Bloom Awards to show off their garden, or develop their outreach skills to become a Community In Bloom Ambassador.