Rules and Terms of Membership


Plot Plantings

Hill East Community Garden (HECG) is an organic garden, and as such, no non-organic pesticides or fertilizers are allowed. Do not plant any illegal plants. Also, plant tall crops where they will not shade neighboring plots. No trees will be allowed to be planted inside of a plot or any part of the garden.

Plot Maintenance Rules

Plots must be kept planted, mulched, weeded, and harvested. Adjacent pathways around each plot must be kept free of weeds and debris and covered with mulch.

Do not allow your crop to rot in your plot, as this attracts unwanted pests and rodents which may damage neighboring plots. At the end of the gardening season leave your plot clean in preparation for winter. Winter gardeners must keep plots free of debris throughout the winter. Gardeners who do not clean and prepare their plots for winter are subject to a $100 fine and will be placed on probation for the following garden season.

Raised bed plots are a permanent part of HECG, but each gardener is responsible for all aspects (acquisition and delivery of materials and construction) of the replacement of their raised bed when the raised bed deteriorates. Gardeners may request reimbursement for expenses related to the building of their raised bed up to, but not exceeding, $100.00. Gardeners should submit reimbursement requests to the HECG treasurer and include copies of their receipts and current mailing address.

Non-Compliant Gardeners

If you do not comply with the plot maintenance rules of the Membership Agreement, the following process will begin:

A board member will contact you via phone and email to ask you to clean your plot. A red flag will be placed in your plot to notify other gardeners that the board is addressing the situation.

If you are not in compliance within two weeks of the first communication, you will be contacted an additional time via phone and email.

If you are still not in compliance after an additional two weeks (a total of 4 weeks after the first communication), the board will consider your plot abandoned, terminate your garden membership, and make your plot ready for the next person on the waiting list.

All plot and/or initiation fees will be forfeited and not available for refund. Exceptions to this policy will only be granted if extreme and compelling circumstances caused the gardener to neglect their plot. It is the responsibility of the gardener to contact the board to inform them of said circumstances. Routine neglect is grounds for termination of gardening privileges. Routine neglect may also result in nonrenewal of membership at the Board’s discretion.

Secondary Gardeners

Every plot has one primary gardener, and may also have one listed secondary gardener. No individual can be the primary gardener on more than one plot. However, you can be the secondary gardener on numerous plots. A secondary gardener can also be on the waiting list for their own plot. If the primary gardener of a shared plot leaves the garden, the secondary gardener is permitted to inherit that particular plot as a primary gardener.

Garden Community Service

Beginning in 2018, Hill East Community Garden will use a task-based work system and each plot will be responsible for specific ongoing garden tasks. Each task will be checked monthly by the HECG board to ensure compliance. In addition, gardeners will be expected to attend the HECG Annual Meeting, as well as scheduled seasonal community garden work days. Work projects include weeding and mulching of paths and perimeter, fence repair, educational events, planning garden socials, or other appropriate projects deemed beneficial to the garden and its membership.


Any structures must be contained within the boundaries of your plot. Structures must be secure enough to withstand high winds, not shade other plots, and cannot be any taller than your ability to reach the top of it with outstretched hands. If your structure does not meet these criteria or causes problems for neighboring gardeners, you will be asked to remove it. Failure to do so may result in termination of your garden membership.

Drip Irrigation

Gardeners wishing to install and/or use drip irrigation systems in their plot must discuss this with the HECG board prior to the construction of drip irrigation system and also sign and agree to terms in the Drip Irrigation Memo of Understanding. This document outlines the rules and parameters governing the use of barrel-fed drip irrigation systems in HECG. Garden hoses may not be used to fill individual drip irrigation barrels.


Water is provided by a neighbor of the garden who, in turn, is reimbursed for their water bill for the growing season. If you find water barrels empty, you should refill them and encourage other gardeners to do the same. It is the responsibility of every gardener to ensure that water barrels remain full. Please fill barrels during posted hours only.


For the safety of pets, other gardeners, and garden plants, all pets must be kept on a leash and monitored. Pets should not wander unattended in the garden. Failure to control your pet in the garden may result in the termination of your garden membership.


You are responsible for immediate removal of your own trash including weeds, spent fruit and garden trimmings. Gardeners who participate in social events are responsible for immediate removal of trash generated at the event.

Gate Padlocks

All gates have combination locks. Do not give the combination to persons who are not members of the garden. If you are unable to tend your plot during vacations or other prolonged absences, please arrange for someone else in your household or another HECG gardener to do so.