July Board Meeting Minutes

HECG Board Meeting Minutes July 2016

July 18, 2016, 7PM at HECG

In Attendance:

Brenda Dunlap, Secretary

Joan Gregory Saenz, President

Erin Harms, Treasurer/Membership

Katie Lefeber Donahue, Garden Events Coordinator

Luke Manion, Vice President

Garden Members:

Nicole Shank

Absent: Matt Bradley, Web & IT Coordinator

Officer Reports:


  • Joan is updating the perimeter map: Gardeners who would like to adopt a section of exterior perimeter to plant should contact the Board (board@hilleastgarden.org) and gardeners who are already managing sections of it should notify the board.

Vice President:

  • Luke: Luke followed HECG formal procedures and contacted Plot #4C three times by email and attempted to contact the gardener by phone twice. Plot 4C’s membership was terminated due to non-compliance. Thanks to Joan Gregory and Stephanie Spahlinger for cleaning Plot #4C and to Matt for removing the bags of weeds!
  • Brenda suggested the Board develop 3 boilerplate letters with wording that follows HECG rules and processes that can be sent to non-compliant gardeners. Board members agreed that this could simplify the reminder/notification process for Board members. Joan volunteered to draft the letters and Katie volunteered to review them.
  • Luke reported that he saw a fire engine one night when a gardener was using the fire pit. No one in attendance knew about this or had details.
    • Brenda thought that it was possible there is an ordinance against using a fire pit like this and Katie volunteered to research it.
  • Luke volunteered to fire dragon the perimeter and patio weeds wherever possible.
  • Luke will email Plot #4E and #3F to weed their plots because the weeds are seeding and spilling over.


  • Brenda trimmed the hibiscus and variegated tree and will continue to trim them since the fledglings moved. Someone taller would need to trim above her reach. She reported that the second Saturday workday lead by Abby Pound went great. 3 gardeners weeded a section of exterior and interior perimeter and straightened shed.


  • Erin and Stephanie completed transfer of financial items, and Erin can now administer the HECG PayPal account.
  • Contessa Riggs has agreed to repaint the HECG sign in August.

Garden Events Coordinator:

  • Katie is planning a social for August and a weekend cook-off on a weekend after Labor Day.
  • Katie will email gardeners who have not logged work hours and ask them to participate in an August workday.
  • The workday goal for Thurs Jul 21 work eve: removing vines from fence. Weeding was completed along the southeast perimeter, including removal of several trees of heaven. Thank you Amy!
  • Katie to purchase a few bags for weeds at Fragers for upcoming workdays. Erin will purchase them in bulk from Costco to ensure we have bags on hand for future workdays.
  • The Board authorized the purchase of five chairs to replace five damaged chairs. Amy, Matt, and Beth Baldwin led workdays in July and August. One leader is still needed for first workday in August.

General Business

Water discussion:

  • Katie reported that Charles Allen’s staff suggested contacting Capitol Hill Community Foundation for grant opportunities to raise money for an HECG water line (or other project) and knew of no other resources.
  • Katie noticed that Greenseed has a cistern and suggested investigating if it (or something else) might be an option.
  • Brenda volunteered to research whether or not drilling a well is a viable option.
  • Erin reported that Joanna (Greenseed) went to a water meeting recently and plans to post information about it. The Board will discuss the information Joanna posts.
  • Erin emailed Daniel Ridge to invite him to tour the garden and meet the gardeners, the ANC rep twice to talk with him about the garden and the process of obtaining a permanent water source someday and other issues related to the garden, for example how to get a physical address for HECG.
  • There was a discussion about whether or not grants are needed for any special projects for HECG.
  • Gardeners with ideas on improvements needed at HECG should email board@hecg.org
  • Brenda suggested non-toxic options for weed control or paying to install landscape fabric on exterior perimeter to make weeding easier since maintaining it hasn’t been a priority for gardeners. Erin thought the fabric would not be helpful in the long term (there are already several layers under the mulch within the fenced area) and Brenda suggested trying it in 1 section for comparison.

Web/IT (Matt via email):

  • Matt will demonstrate at an upcoming meeting how the Board might use the suite of Google Apps.
  • Removed Plot 4C former members from HECG Google Group
  • Volunteered to give water barrel training upon request
  • Purchased the new grill cover, refilled a propane canister, and volunteered to clean the grill.
  • Reported that Behrad Mahdi refilled a propane canister! (Behrad, please forward a receipt to erin@hecg.org to be reimbursed).

Other Business

  • The Board agreed that effective August 1, 2016, HECG primary gardeners must reside in zip codes 20002 or 20003 unless they are already on the wait list. An individual may sign-up on the wait list if they reside in a different zip code, but must reside in 20002 or 20003 to become a primary gardener. Secondary gardeners are not required to reside in zip 20002 or 20003.
  • Brenda reported an infestation of spider mites and aphids that ruined most of her vegetables and suggested HECG might benefit from releasing ladybugs and green lacewings, which are known to reduce spider mite and aphid populations. The Board agreed to a purchase for now and spring. However, the high temperatures are problematic and Brenda now suggests delaying purchase until spring.

Action Items:

For 8/2016:

  • Joan to draft boilerplate letters; update perimeter map
  • Luke to fire dragon the perimeter and patio weeds as possible; email #4E and #3F to weed their plots
  • Matt to demo and give on how to directly post on site and access shared Google Drive
  • Katie to purchase 5 chairs and bags for weeds; remove 5 broken chairs; seek Aug workday leader; announce Aug garden social, contact CHCF, research fire pit ordinances, review Joan’s draft boilerplates.
  • Erin to re-invite ANC rep to HECG and to debrief with Greenseed on the water meeting fallout.
  • Brenda to investigate wells

For 9/2016: Erin to purchase nematodes (in the fall) and weed bags (Costco).

For 11/2016: Revisit garden taking over its own insurance policy.

For 2/2017: Brenda research free wood chips from reliable source.

For 3/2017 (spring): Brenda information on beneficial insects; Erin to purchase nematodes.

NEXT BOARD MEETING: August 15, 7PM at HECG (all gardeners welcome)

NEXT COMMUNITY WORK DAYS: Aug. 13, 9AM-12N & Aug. 18, 2016 6:30PM-8:30PM

Goals: (1) remove vines on fence, (2) weed exterior perimeter



Log your hours: https://hilleastgarden.org/work-hours/


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