The Urban Meadow Community Garden is a unique green space in South Brooklyn. Please see FAQs below.
What is the Urban Meadow? Is it a park? How does it work? The Urban Meadow is not a park, but a community garden, run by volunteer members and under the NYC Parks Department's GreenThumb division. You can write to us with any other questions firstname.lastname@example.org. We are run completely by volunteers and have a small group of coordinators who organize the Meadow's activities. Individuals and families can join the Urban Meadow .
Information for the public
Visitors are free to enjoy the Urban Meadow any time the gates are unlocked. Open hours generally begin in mid to late April and continue through October when the garden is open 10 AM- 8 PM from Thursday-Sunday. Under Greenthumb rules, community gardens are required to be open to the public at least 20 hours a week. As long at the garden is treated with respect the Urban Meadow is happy to be able to share our space with the public more often than that. The Meadow is a wonderful space for the whole community - in order to help maintain and take care of the space we have the following rules:
- There are NO dogs allowed in the Urban Meadow. The Meadow is not a public park. We like pets too, but absolutely do not allow them in the garden for what we hope are obvious reasons.
- Users must remain on the grass or on the garden path. If you come with children, kindly make certain that they do not go into the garden or pull on tree branches.
- Clean up all litter when you leave
- DO NOT pick the flowers! They are planted, fundraised for, paid for and maintained by Urban Meadow members
- People are free to picnic in the Urban Meadow and play games, but be mindful always of the fact that it is a garden and the flowers, trees, shrubs and grass must not be damaged.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Urban Meadow garden open during the day? Can I come in? Yes, there are open hours during the season from Thursday-Sundayfrom around 10 AM-8 PM. Members of the public are welcome to come in to enjoy the garden. Please follow posted rules, no dogs are allowed.
I'd like to join the Urban Meadow, but I have young kids- can they come with me to gardening hours and other events? Yes! Many of us have kids and the kids come with us to garden and hang out for lots of events - they run around and look for snails or play in the sprinklers. As much as possible we try to accommodate little kids and make it fun - kids are a big part of the Urban Meadow. We also have members who do not have children - we welcome all members of the community.
Do you have a cap on membership?
Yes - we limit membership to around 80 individuals, which translates to around 40 households.
Why is your membership time limited? I inquired about joining in June and was told I am too late for the season. We re-enroll members and admit new members in early spring, usually late March/April, as the season is beginning. The membership period usually lasts for about a month, generally until the end of April. Members begin to fulfill volunteer hours in the spring - if memberships went on all year, many people would not be fulfilling volunteer and work hours and yet would be receiving membership privileges. Processing memberships and orienting new members takes time - if it went on all season, the garden coordinators would have little time for anything else. Saying no to people who want to join isn't fun, but through years of this work, we have learned that limiting the time works for everyone. If you have missed the membership period and would like to be put on our waiting list, just let us know. And, contact us in March of the following year if you would still like to join.
Where you do post information about the membership process and dates? How can I find out about those? We use many ways of letting people know what's going on at the Meadow: There is a notice up on the bulletin board in front of the garden with our email address:email@example.com, our Facebook page, Facebook.com/urbanmeadow, and our blog site right here- all these are good places to find out what is happening at the Urban Meadow. In addition we post up notices in local stores and business, we send information to local blogs, we have an email list where we send information.
I don't like to garden and don't want to commit to volunteer hours - can I still join? No, not a good idea. While the Urban Meadow exists for more than just gardening, working in the garden is essential. The reason people like to spend time there is because it's beautiful - the reason it's beautiful is because members volunteer time in the garden! We do have lots of jobs for people that aren't just gardening, but if you really don't care for gardening at all, or don't have the time to commit to volunteering you can just come enjoy it during open hours.
Similarly: I feel you have too many requirements. I would like to join, but I can only volunteer at certain times and I don't like to be told I have to work. Hmmmm - well, there are lots of ways to run a community/volunteer organization, and once you are a member you are more than welcome to express your thoughts about how the Urban Meadow is run. However every community garden in New York City is run according to similar principles and nearly all require work and volunteering. Some gardens have very strict rules and record keeping, others for various reasons have very little of this. The Urban Meadow falls somewhere in the middle, but what requirements we do have are the minimum required to keep our space beautiful and useable for everyone.
I am not a member - Can I have a party in the Urban Meadow? No, parties can only be held by members. Can I join right now so that I can have a party next week? No. We understand that people love to have parties in the garden and that it's a draw for people looking to join but members need to fulfill requirements and participate.
Can you hold other fun events for kids, or concerts or classes in the Meadow? If you'd like to organize an event talk to the coordinators about what you'd like to do. There is deliberately a lot of open space in the garden so many fun activities are possible.