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/


June Board Meeting Minutes

HECG Board Meeting Minutes June 2016

June 20, 2016, 7PM at HECG

In Attendance:

Joan Gregory, President

Luke Manion, Vice President

Brenda Dunlap, Secretary

Erin Harms, Treasurer/Membership


Matt Bradley, Web & IT Coordinator

Katie Lefeber Donahue, Garden Events Coordinator

Officer Reports:

President: Nothing to report

Vice President:

  • Luke purchased a fire dragon and torched the patio weeds. It worked well although weeds on runners are stubborn. He will store it at home as requested by the Board, because it poses a safety hazard in the shed.
  • Chris Forney weeded his plot as requested.
  • Gene Kim has been notified in writing twice that his plot violates the Rules and Terms of Membership and Plot Maintenance Rules. The weeds are seeding, creating nuisance, and impacting other gardeners. A red flag will be placed in his plot.


  • Brenda suggested that future minutes should contain Action Items. Board members who miss a meeting should email updates on their activities to the Board prior to the meeting and for inclusion in the Minutes. Board members agreed that we should do this for continuity and reporting.


  • Stephanie and Erin have almost completed transfer of financial items.
  • Erin is still having trouble accessing the PayPal account and is working with Stephanie to resolve.
  • Debit cards have been issued to the President and the Treasurer
  • All plots are filled for the 2016 garden season
  • Erin responded to Mrs. Gold about posting a gardening link to our website. Because of the concern that this was spam, we decided against a shout-out or a post

Garden Events Coordinator (via email):

  • Katie removed old boards from garden beds, which were picked up by DC bulk pick-up.
  • Katie contacted several gardeners to lead workdays – many have signed up! One workday in June was covered by a non-Board member. July workdays will be lead by non-Board members. Many thanks to the gardeners who volunteered to lead work days: Amy Searight, Angie Cecil, Abby Pound, Amy Caspari, and Matthew Caspari.
  • Nice turn out at first social events of the year on June 9th (happy hour/water training) and June 19 (homebrew day).
  • Katie is planning additional events, including a garden cook-off in August.
  • Katie replenished the weed bags in the garden for the June workdays.
  • Katie is emailing reminders to gardeners. Reminders are sent 1 week and also 1 day in advance of garden community activities.
  • Katie volunteered to replace our old unreadable sign with a new sign if Contessa is not able to repaint it. Signs should also list our webpage, http://www.hilleastgarden.org,
  • Katie logged in hours for the sign-in sheets she had. Members are now logging in their own work hours.

Web/IT (via email):

  • The web site is now set up to provide Board members and gardeners the option to publish a link to the story on our FB page
  • Matt’s waiting on a response on merging our FB page with the separate FB “place” that people find if they search for the Hill East Community Garden. With no more effort than it takes to update our web site, we’ll be able to inform anyone in the garden who follows us on FB of pertinent news, and anyone who finds us through FB searching for us.
  • There is a document shared with the Board of the technical configurations around the list consolidation and setup. Matt offered to provide assistance to Board members, too.

Other Business

  • The Board reviewed plot maintenance compliance in the “Terms of Membership” which has been signed by every HECG gardener and posted on http://www.hilleastgarden.org.
  • The Board checked plots to see if they are in compliance with the rules. Luke will contact gardeners who are not in compliance with the rules.
  • Joan asked Brenda to include a reminder in future minutes for gardeners to log their own work hours.
  • The Board will identify goals for the following month’s workdays and these will be communicated to the gardeners in the reminders.
  • Joan brought up capital planning. She suggested we set up a plan to obtain water. Erin noted we need a physical address for a water line and doesn’t know the process for getting the street(s) in the alley named. We agreed to contact our ANC Commissioner.
  • The Board agreed that we do not need more mulch this year.
  • We noted there is food and sauce on HECG tables. Gardeners should remember to wipe tables after eating.

Action Items:

  • For 7/2016: Matt to give Board members intro/demo/notes to directly post to the web site and access shared Google Drive items to update/manage and share with the Board and post to the web site to compliment their notes to the listserv.
  • For 7/2016: Matt to purchase new grill cover
  • For 7/2016: Katie to research replacing the chairs in the garden.
  • For 7/2016: Katie to ask gardeners to lead 2 August workdays.
  • For 7/2016: Erin to invite new ANC rep to HECG Board meeting or for a tour of the garden to discuss water issues and acquiring a name for the alley
  • For 7/2016: Erin to contact Contessa Riggs regarding the sign.
  • For 7/2016: Luke to email Gene Forney regarding plot
  • For 8/2016: Katie planning garden social.
  • For 9/2016: Revisit nematode purchase.
  • For 11/2016: Revisit garden taking over its own insurance policy.
  • For 2/2017: Brenda to research free wood chips from reliable source
  • Ongoing: Katie and Erin researching possible grants for HECG.

NEXT BOARD MEETING: July 18, 7PM at HECG (all gardeners welcome)

NEXT COMMUNITY WORK DAYS: July 9, 9AM-12N and July 21, 2016 6:30PM-8:30PM

Goals: (1) shed cleanout, (2) weed exterior perimeter from sign to shed, (3) weed exterior

perimeter from shed to NW gate.



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

Flashback Friday: Photos from the before the beginning

Many thanks to our friend Pat Taylor, who shared these photos from way back when from before the Hill East Community Garden was formed.

Many more thanks to our founding members and neighbors involved in bringing the garden to fruition — we’ve come a long way, and we’ve got something valuable to keep.

(Speaking of which: we’re out here, right now this evening, socializing and weeding.)


*It would help if it were actually Friday, but oh well.

May Board Meeting Minutes

HECG Board Meeting Minutes May 2016

May 16, 2016, 7PM at HECG

In Attendance:

Matt Bradley, Web & IT Coordinator

Brenda Dunlap, Secretary

Erin Harns, Treasurer/Membership

Katie Lefeber Donahue, Garden Events Coordinator

Luke Manion, Vice President


Joan Gregory, President

Officer Reports:

President: Nothing to report

Vice President: Nothing to report

Secretary: Nothing to report


  • Banking has been transferred to Erin. Stephanie will be transferring Paypal and the

ledger to Erin. Insurance fee increased to $437.50 because Greenseed dropped off our

policy. The garden will explore taking over its own insurance.

  • Erin is receiving back statements, but online banking is not currently available. Erin will

call the bank to set that up. There are two debit cards. One will live with the treasurer and

the other with the garden president (Joan).

  • One plot next to patio is still vacant.

Garden Events Coordinator:

  • Katie has the sign-in sheets from 2 workdays but the 3rd work day was damp and there

was no sign-in sheet. She will log-in hours where she has complete info but some folks only

signed in (they didn’t include the amount of time they stayed). She’ll remind those who

worked to make sure their hours were logged in.

  • Katie will email gardeners future reminders about works days ~ 1 week in advance and

also 1 day in advance.

  • The Board agreed that gardeners should log their own work hours in the future. It

creates unnecessary work for the Board otherwise.

  • Katie will begin to contact gardeners to lead workday starting with gardeners who have

not logged any work hours yet.

  • Katie plans to coordinate a garden social for June and we discussed ideas. Per Erin, the

Homebrew Association wants to hold a social at HECG and invite gardeners. Erin and Katie

will contact them about setting it up. Katie will solicit other ideas from gardeners and also

contact Nicole who wanted to host a social at one point.

  • Erin will set up a date for a water training happy hour
  • Matt will lead 5/19/2016 Wine & Weeding event. The goal will be weeding vacant plot on the west side of the patio. Other priority is Bermuda grass on patio against the wood and the East perimeter area


  • Matt will send an email to gardeners with instructions on accessing HECG content in

HECG google group since he has finished setting it up. He will also start a google sheet of

Board members contact info.

Other Business:

  • Luke will purchase a fire dragon estimated at $40 to torch the patio weeds. He’ll email Erin the receipt for reimbursement. Because it might be unsafe to house it in the shed, he will store it for HECG.
  • Mrs. Gold’s request: could be link spamming or a teacher’s outreach. Everyone disliked that it’s affiliated with a corporation. Erin will add a shout-out on the home-page recent blog posts and respond to Mrs. Gold that we will not link the article.
  • Plot check: Luke will contact Gene Kim and Chris Forney and ask them to weed their plots. Kimberly Kennedy will decide by Friday 5/20/2016 if she’s going to continue her plot and will weed it if she stays.
  • Katie will call 311 for bulk pickup of discarded boards and broken chairs & umbrellas. We suggested putting the discarded tomato cages in the alley for the metal recycler. Matt will assist if Ryan needs assistance moving items in preparation for pickup.
  • Erin will purchase nematodes since it’s still cool enough.

NEXT MEETING: Monday June 20, 2016 at 7PM at HECG (all gardeners are welcome to attend)

Check out HECG online: https://hilleastgarden.org/

Like us on FB https://www.facebook.com/hilleastgarden/?fref=ts

April Board Meeting Minutes

HECG Board Meeting April 11, 2016


  • Stephanie is working to finish transferring over Treasurer duties to Erin.
  • Joan, Erin and Stephanie will go to the bank next Thursday to transfer the account to allow us to sign.
  • Lucie was reimbursed for the patio furniture. Joan needs paid back for signs—trying to do through Paypal.
  • We are still working on change of garden address. We are checking to see if we need a physical address if we are ever to get a water hookup.
  • Joan bought new signs that say “water me” and “harvest me.” Please feel free to grab from shed and use when needed. Red flags still need purchased.
  • We also discussed a potential gardener wanted to barter instead of pay new gardener fees. We said no. We will continue looking at these on a case by case basis, but said no in this case.
  • Erin will now continue to fill plots, we have four open.
  • Nematodes order: will be late April after we mulch.

Work Days:

  • Matt is going to add work days to the google calendar and Facebook. We will also send out emails. Please let us know if you think there are other good ways to keep gardeners in the loop.
  • This coming work day SATURDAY will be led by the board. We will focus on: weeds in common areas and in-between plots. Clean shed, inventory tools.

Check water hoses.

  • We will be asking gardeners to sign up to lead additional set work days. Please contact Katie kathryn.lefeber@gmail.com to sign up. It is a great way to get your 4 work hours per plot. As a reminder, we are keeping a close eye on work hours this year and will hold gardeners hold gardeners to their commitments to performs 4 hours of tasks per year or ask them to leave the garden.

Next HECG Board Meeting Dates Set:

Every third Monday of the month in the garden at 7pm.

  • May 16
  • June 20
  • July 18
  • August 15
  • September 19
  • October 17
  • November 21
  • December 19

Updated! 2016 Garden Season Work Days Announced

Updated 13 April 2016

Hello Gardeners,

Based on feedback from those gardeners who attended the March 5 Annual Meeting, we have scheduled workdays for the season. Check the Calendar page of the web site for dates and times. Mark your calendars and see you in the garden!

Lead a Work Day!

Help out the Board and Volunteer to lead a work day

With all the extra work days and advanced scheduling of them, we could use help making sure each date is covered with at least one person to explain goals to other gardeners (the board will help identify those goals as the season progresses). Fill out this form to indicate your interest in a leading a work day.