Gardening for Life!

Sample Terms of Reference

Sample Terms of Reference for A Garden Team


To facilitate, set up and maintain beautiful, productive and pesticide-free  community gardening projects that  welcome gardeners and visitors


The Garden Team reports to the community association's [ name of committee ]    

Terms of Reference

 The Garden Team carries out its activities on public land with authority granted by the community association.

 The Garden Team respects the bylaws of the community association and operates the garden according to the Garden Guidelines they develop.  The Garden Guidelines are reviewed once a year and a copy is stored with the community association.

Garden Team Members
Community gardening projects are governed by the Garden Team consisting of 10 to 12 garden members.  Each year a Garden Team fills (at a minimum) the following positions:

1.   Garden Communicator with Community Association
2.   Garden Communicator with City of Calgary Parks
3.   Neigbourhood Communicator Team Lead
4.   Garden Treasurer
5.   Garden Membership Secretary
6.   Fund Raising Team Lead
7.   Garden Construction / Repair Team Lead
8.   Garden Angel Team Lead
9.   Gardening Event Team Lead
10. Compost / Soil Building Team Lead
11.  Food Sharing Team Lead


 The Garden Team communicates regularly with the community association. This can be arranged by a Garden Team member sending a monthly report by email and attending a community association board meeting twice a year.  A copy of Garden Team  minutes is sent to the community association.


The Garden Team is responsible for managing its financial matters and seeks funding for its activities after communicating with the community association board. The Garden Team Treasurer maintains a record of funds acquired and spent.


The Community Association Treasure works with the Garden Team Treasurer to ensure timely payment of all garden expenses from the Community Gardening account with special consideration given to timely payment of receipts over $50 in spring, summer and fall. 

Annual Budget

An annual budget is prepared, discussed and approved by the Garden Team.  Then they  seek the endorsement  of the community association board of directors. 

Income and Expense Statement

The Garden Team Treasurer will produce an Income and Expense Statement twice a year which will be made publically available with a copy sent to the community association board.   

Financial Management

The Community Garden account in the community association budget  is arestricted funds line item in the community association budget. Decisions for disbursements from this account lie with the Community Garden Team  leadership.

 The Garden Treasurer will work closely with the Community Association Treasurer to  manage grants, investment and distribution of funds. 

Sources and Uses of Funds

 The restricted funds account will contain community garden fees such as garden bed rental fees.  Gardeners will be required to purchase a community association membership and these funds will go into the community association's membership account, not the garden account.

Garden Team Activities

1.   Welcoming community association members who would like to contribute to community gardening projects
2.   Preparing annual budget
3.   Responsible financial management for garden funds
4.   Answering inquiries about the community garden
5.   Planning and carrying out community consultation as needed
6.   Setting garden policy
7.   Sending in Monthly Update for community newsletter
8.   Offering informal learning opportunities for gardeners
9.   Cultivating a positive working relationship with the community association and the City of Calgary Parks

How the Garden Team Collaborates:

1.  The Garden Team meets once a month in a public location advertising the date and time in advance.  Meeting minutes are taken and a copy is stored with the community association.

2.  The Garden Team makes decisions by consensus and voting.  This means that Garden Team members agree to support a decision arising from a majority vote  even if it is not their preferred choice.

3.  The Garden Team may seek guidance and advice at any time from a wide variety of sources such as the community association, City of Calgary and the Community Garden Resource Network of the Calgary Horticultural Society.

4.  Garden Team members take turns in chairing the meeting and arranging the agenda.

5.  Community gardening projects go forward with volunteer time, donated resources, donations and funding grants.