Possible Community Gardening Roles

Thinking of starting a community garden and wondering how you might divide up all the tasks? Or are you a long-time garden coordinator or garden committee member needing some suggestions on how to make you job easier? The below information provides some suggestions around how you might do that. We have also made available information on community garden policies and other resources.

Annual Tasks


Determine start date / opening date

Register gardeners

  • Collect garden fees

  • Request acknowledgement of rules/guidelines

  • Collect insurance forms

  • Update contact list

  • Manage waiting list

Practices and procedures of garden

  • Communicate to gardeners

  • Updates decided on by gardeners

Community Garden Committee

Recruit volunteers

  • Hold election if needed to ensure fair process

  • Determine mission / vision / values, decision making process (eg. consensus, voting)

Assign roles on garden committee, such as:

  • Garden coordinator

  • Chair - Facilitates meetings, makes sure all voices are heard

  • Secretary - Take meetings minutes (notes) and distribute them

  • Treasurer - Coordinates financial matters (Collect and hold money, reimburse expenses, create budget and track spending)

Assign sub-committees or a delegate to be a resource for gardeners, such as:

  • Maintenance - repair gates, fences, water supply, tools

  • Manage compost - turn pile, water, remove garbage, educate gardeners, source materials (kitchen scraps, chicken manure, yard waste)

  • Materials - manage a seed library, purchase seeds, seedlings, soil, tools

  • Communication - with city staff, neighbours to the garden, visitors, community groups

  • Special projects - upgrades to the garden, expansion

Garden Opening

Communicate dates regarding:

    • The earliest gardeners may start gardening (eg according to city/insurance rules)

    • The latest gardeners must clean up plot (or reassign to someone on waitlist)

    • The latest gardeners must plant their garden (or reassign)

    • The final date to clean up and stop gardening (eg city/insurance rules)

  • Organize a Spring Clean-up event (optional)

  • Prepare plots - clean any garbage, remove excessive weeds & invasive species

  • Contribute to communal areas - clean pathways, prepare compost pile

  • Distribute any garden information and regulatory forms, and available gardening materials

  • Encourage connections between gardeners (during the season people may not meet due to different gardening times)

  • Collect any deposits on garden plots

Garden Closing

  • Remind people of final date to clean up

  • Organize a Fall Clean-up, or End of Year BBQ (optional)

  • Clean plots - clean any materials, especially plastic, dead plants and weeds, especially if the plot will be assigned to someone else next year

  • Contribute to communal areas - clean pathways

  • Return any deposits on garden plots

  • Celebrate and share the harvest between gardeners

  • Recognize the efforts of all participants

Continuous Tasks

  • Communicate spirit of the garden rules and vision for the garden

  • Strive to facilitate a sense of community

  • Update gardeners on gardening news

  • Answer questions from gardeners

  • Purchase and distribute materials (eg seeds, seedlings, soil, compost, tools, face masks)

  • Inspect gardens (eg. City garden inspection form) regarding:

  • Conduct required maintenance

  • Ensure available water supply (eg fill water tank)

  • Address health and Safety concerns

  • Access special areas (eg garden shed, water supply, community centre office)

These resources were developed in collaboration with the Food System Roundtable of Waterloo Region.

Community Partner: