Rangely Garden
Community Garden
The Gardens History and Bylaws

Our History

​The Rangely Community Gardens (The Gardens or RCG) was established in 2010 with the objective to promote gardening in Rangely and to provide fresh produce to the community and mainly focused on feeding the hungry which included an educational section on how to grow your own food; later as the demographics of the area changed the focus moved to mainly education of children and youth. 

​A group of gardeners began meeting in 2009 with the idea of a community garden. The idea received support and sites were explored.  A Steering Committee was formed and officers elected to organize inkind services and monetary donations from the community and submit applications for grant funding. A wildlife fence was erected in spring of 2011, an application & membership process and garden rules were established.  The Gardens Steering Committee gratefully acknowledges all the support from the Town of Rangely, the Colorado University (CU) Extension Office, our local 4-H, FFA, Boy and Girl Scouts, and the Community both individuals and businesses that make the Rangely Community Gardens possible.

​The Gardens is governed by a steering committee that followed a set committee rules and follows established goals and objectives to organize to operate The Gardens.  In July 2012 Steering Committee determined that The Gardens did not have federal tax-exempt status as reported in 2011 and voted to operate under official By-laws/Articles of Incorporation and apply for Federal Tax Exemption; Original By-laws were approved November 14, 2013. 

​Our existing site was an unused lot owned by the Town of Rangely that was filled with grasses, weeds, sage brush, and greasewood.  The Town of Rangely Mayor and Council Members determined a community garden represented an opportunity to beautify the location and allow the recreational activity of community gardening.  The Town of Rangely leased about 2 acres of land to the Rangely Community Gardens. The Gardens Steering Committee with in-kind support from the community, developed the plans for the location, installed the wild life fencing around about 1.2 acres, landscaping, water lines, and marked out the framework of the family garden parcels. CU Extension Office also provided soil additives to lower PH and to break down clay soil. 

​In May of 2011, The Rangely Community Gardens (The Gardens) opened with 18 family garden parcels and a large community garden area that sustains the Gardens; garden parcels increased to 30 at the start of the 2013 growing season.  Remaining space was planted where 50% of the harvested produce is donated local food bank(s), our local Rangely School District, and the needy; the remaining produce is sold at The Gardens Market to help sustain the gardens.  The success of The Gardens is due to great community support, especially in-kind services and product donations from businesses and individuals; financial support is grant funding and cash donations.

​In 2013 the Gardens changed their focus from feeding the hungry to educating our children and youth on where food comes from, how to grow food organically, food nutrition, and a variety of educational aspects related to the benefits of organic gardening

Who We Are

​The Rangely Community Gardens (The Gardens) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization under Colorado State Statute and governed by a Steering Committee; Federal Tax Exempt Status applied for in 1st quarter 2014.  The Gardens Steering Committee also plans education for children and teenagers through classes and hands on experience, hosts community events, The Gardens Market, and all other garden activities.  The steering committee also organizes the planting of a pumpkin patch to give a pumpkin to every child in Rangely and Dinosaur, CO.   All garden activities is part of our educational program. 

The State of Colorado has enacted statutory provisions that satisfy the requirements of section 508(e) of the Code.   Therefore, the governing of The Gardens is under the jurisdiction of the State of Colorado; with respect to trusts that are private foundations, except where otherwise provided by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Our Purpose

​The Gardens purpose is to first educate then to promote, create, and maintain community and home gardening, and to encourage community involvement, while providing members with the joys of gardening. Working in a cooperative manner, the members will maintain the grounds at The Gardens.  Anyone regardless of gender, race, creed, color, or sexual orientation can be a member of The Gardens.  Much of The Gardens will focus around children and youth. 

​The Gardens  is divided into 6 areas to maximize the educational atmosphere and opportunities; (1)  about 1/2 The Gardens’ property is  garden parcels that are allocated to individual members who can grow vegetables and/or flowers of their choice , (2) the botanical garden sets the atmosphere of The Gardens with a beautiful array of grass, shade and fruit trees, and ornamental shrubs and flowers providing the Gardens outdoor classroom, (3) the community garden area shows off a variety of vegetables that provide fresh produce to the community and teaches volunteers how to grow in Rangely soil conditions and with wildlife challenges, (4) the Children’s Gardens is an educational area specifically where children and parents learn about gardening and the benefits of organic gardening and where produce comes from, (5) as part of our children’s educational program our pumpkin patch is very popular with our preschool and elementary school aged kids; each kid picks out their own pumpkin - FREE! Class field trips to see how pumpkins grow is part of the education, and (5) a permaculture orchard was added in 2015 by our local FFA youth.

​All gardeners are welcome, regardless of experience level or specific interests; or age.  Children and youth involvement is encouraged through planting and education events and volunteer work events. 

Benefits of A community Garden

​Community gardens beautify the neighborhood and provide a safe, recreational green space in which to relax and enjoy being outdoors. Individual gardeners get a chance to grow some of their own vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers, some of which might not be available in local markets. In the process of doing so, they learn gardening skills while gardeners gain a sense of community through interacting with one another. Children get an opportunity to see where their food comes from, learn how things grow, how to care for plants and gain a sense of achievement in growing their own food.
 

How our Comunnity Garden Operates

​Rangely Community Gardens is operated by its steering committee and involves its garden members, community volunteers, and community in-kind services to enhance the whole gardening learning experience.  The Gardens Steering Committee handles the following operational functions:  
  • Establish Plot Sizes and Layouts
  • Plan and install an irrigation system
  • Establish Rules and provide conflict resolution
  • Develop a budget and fundraising efforts
  • Collect dues and pay bills
  • Establish and manage educational programs
  • Secure appropriate insurance
  • Elect officers to administer the operation of the garden and education programs
  • Amend By-Laws as necessary

Ongoing Operation and Community programs

Ongoing Operation and Community Programs:

Each member gardener is required to maintain his/her own parcel. In addition they assist in the maintenance and operation of The Gardens. 

Gardens Partnership with the Town of Rangely- The Gardens assissts the Town of Rangely with the Main Street Flowers. In 2012 The Gardens planted and cared for the flowers all season; 2013 The Gardens planted flowers in pots and trained summer workers and consulted on disease or bug problems (Education for Town Employees). It is expected that this program will continue for many years. 

Gardens Market-  Produce from the community garden growing areas will be sold to community at the Gardens Market; funds will be used to help maintain The Gardens.

​Fundraising, Donations, and Grants -- The Gardens Committee assigns from its member’s individuals or subcommittees to ensure funding is obtained each year.   Use of fundraising events, donation campaigns with letters, website, and Facebook advertising, and grants submissions or any other legal fundraising activities is the responsibility of The Committee.  Because of the rural area for operation there are many challenges including wild animals, difficult soil conditions with abundance of weeds and pests, The Gardens depends on all these funding activities and parcel lease fees to operate efficiently.

​The Gardens Educational Programs are a routine and daily part of participating in the Gardens as seasoned gardeners work with children, youth, or our “rookie” gardeners.   Educational information on soil types, vegetable combinations, organic gardening, animal and/or pest control, fertilization, and garden layout for best results is shared and taught in the outdoor classroom.    Actual hands-on education is encouraged – even our children can get their own little garden parcel to plant and learn. 

​The Gardens Community Events -- Community events are held at The Gardens to give back to the community and for use of the community for business, family, or other non-profit gatherings.   Often these events are combined with fundraising activities for The Garden.
  1. ​ Ongoing parcel sign-up and Gardens Market is key to funding and the operation of The Gardens
  2.  Anyone can reserve the botanical garden area for event for minimal cleanup deposit/fee.
  3.  The Gardens serves as our outdoor classroom for educational gardening classes.
  4.  In September 2013 The Gardens hosted the “Harvest Bowl Festival” – a fundraiser event that benefited several non-profit organizations in the community.   

By-Laws/Articles for the Rangely Community Gardens

Article I- Name and Structure

​Definition — the organization described here is officially named "Rangely Community Gardens." This name can be changed only by a vote of two thirds of The Gardens Steering Committee. For the remainder of this document, Rangely Community Gardens will be known as The Gardens.

​Purpose — For Tax Exempt purposes under IRC 501(c)(3), The Gardens is organized exclusively for educational and charitable activities that provide education especially to children, youth, and families in our area on growing their own food; organic gardening and all its benefits.   As a by-product of gardening fresh produce for The Gardens members and the community through the Gardens Market.   Proceeds return to sustaining the Gardens and educational programs.   Anyone regardless of gender, race, creed, color, or sexual orientation can be a member of The Gardens. 

​Income- No part of The Garden’s net earnings will inure to the benefit of private share-holders or individuals. The Gardens is not organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, but for the entire community with all income going back to The Gardens for general expenses.

Activity Engagement Statement:  The Gardens will not, as a substantial part of its activities, attempt to influence or participate to any extent in a political campaign for or against any candidate for public office.  Nor will The Gardens empower this organization to engage, otherwise than as an insubstantial part of its activities, in activities that in themselves are not in furtherance of one or more exempt purposes within IRC 501(c)(3). 

Equipment and Assets:  The Gardens will provide that all equipment, tools, and assets of this organization will be dedicated to its exempt purpose of education and charitable activities within IRC 501(c)(3), either by express provision in its governing instrument or by operation of law.

Article II-Membership and Dues

​ Definition — a member is someone who has been granted rights to a particular gardening parcel(s) or plot(s) who agrees to and abides by the rules and requirements of The Gardens as defined by its Steering Committee. 

​Prospective Members — Membership is available on a first-come first-served basis and is open to anyone regardless of gender, race, creed, color, or sexual orientation. If all garden plots are occupied, prospective members’ names are placed on a waiting list. A prospective member of The Gardens who has been offered a plot assignment must sign a gardening agreement and submit the associated plot fee to become a member of The Gardens.

​Current Members — A current member in good standing may retain the assigned plot and remain a member of The Gardens the following year by signing the agreement and paying the required fee by the deadline set for renewal. Further information on membership responsibilities is contained in The Gardens Rules supplied with the agreement. These Garden Rules may change from year to year at the discretion of the Steering Committee. Additionally, members are further categorized as Plot Holder and Plot Partners. The Plot Holder is responsible for all communication with the Steering Committee, including completing the annual renewal form, submitting the required plot fee, and addressing any rules violation notices. 

Termination of Membership – Membership and plot privileges may be revoked by The Committee for violation(s) of the rules established by The Committee. Rules and enforcement procedures will be distributed at renewal and enrollment. Members are required to sign a document accepting these rules and procedures. Additionally, these rules and procedures are published in such a manner that they are available to all members at any time.

 

Article III- Governance

​Definition — The Rangely Community Gardens Steering Committee, known throughout this document as The Committee, and is responsible for decisions regarding the membership and also current and future Garden activities. Committee members develop, interpret, and enforce The Gardens Rules (a separate document).  

​The Committee determines its meeting schedule and method; typically monthly. Meeting times and changes in the meeting schedule are decided by majority vote. The number of Committee members is determined by The Committee and may change depending on requirements and on the needs of The Gardens as viewed by The Committee. 

Voting Rules — Votes may be taken at Committee meetings only in the presence of a quorum. A quorum is defined as at least 50 percent of the current Committee membership. Only Committee members may vote on proposed motions. Proposals put before The Committee must be accepted by a majority of those attending to pass. Decisions to remove a Committee Member or amend the Bylaws require a majority vote of current Committee members in favor to pass. All Committee Members must be notified before any action to vote on rule changes, Bylaw changes, or Committee member expulsions. Generally, voting will take place at face-to-face meetings. However, if expedient in special circumstances, voting can also be effected through e-mail polling or postal mail polling or conference call polling, if a majority of The Committee agrees to these methods. A special Committee meeting may be convened at any time by a majority of Committee members.

​Committee Responsibilities — as mentioned in Article III, The Committee is responsible for developing, interpreting, and enforcing The Gardens Rules (a separate document). It is the obligation of The Committee to review The Gardens Rules together with the Bylaws on a regular basis, to be certain that both documents are fair, consistent, and up-to-date.  

​A Committee member is not an officer as in a traditional board of directors, mostly due to the fact that they are also Gardeners. However, a member may hold the position of Chair, Vice-chair, Treasurer, Secretary, or Coordinator; a Coordinator is responsible for a particular function in The Gardens.  

​The Committee has the responsibility for negotiating and entering into lease or rental agreements with the Town of Rangely and/or any other entity with suitable property.

​Additionally The Committee is responsible for:  
  • Developing long-range plans for the continuation and improvement of The Gardens and The Gardens organization. The Committee may implement these plans when feasible.
  •  Planning and arranging any Garden sponsored activities and educational programs intended for the benefit and enjoyment of its membership and the surrounding community.
  • Defining positions of responsibility, called Coordinators, and recruiting Members to fulfill these responsibilities.
  •  Amending The Gardens rules and bylaws, as necessary. 
​Committee members meet on a regular basis to discuss problems in The Gardens and find solutions to these problems; typically monthly. 

​Committee Membership — Membership in The Committee is voluntary and open to Garden members in good standing or community members with a true desire to serve. Committee members do not serve a fixed term. Continued membership is contingent on fulfilling the requirements of Committee membership as defined by The Committee. Committee members do not have term limits, but must remain in good standing and fulfilling committee assignments.

​Prospective Committee members who meet the above criteria may nominate themselves or be nominated for invitation by a standing member of The Committee. To become a member of The Committee, a prospective member must be approved by a majority vote of the standing Committee. 

​Committee Officers – Committee Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary are nominated from the standing Committee members.  Committee members may nominate themselves or be nominated by a standing member of The Committee.  To become the Committee Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, or Secretary requires approval by a majority vote of the standing Committee.

​Officer Terms – after max 4 years for any of the officer positions it is recommended that service be followed by a 1 year commitment back on the Steering Committee.  It is recommended that after this break of 1 year an individual may again be nominated as an Officer, as long as this individual is in good standing with The Gardens and is an active member of the Steering Committee. Vice President Serves first year as defined by position, 2nd year as Vice President and is in training to move to President, 3rd year as President, and 4th year as President training Vice President to replace him/her, and 5th year as committee member and consultant.  Example:  Vice, to Vice in Training, to President, remains President (while training next vice); then back to being a Committee Member and Consultant.  Term may be extended or recommended breaks bypassed if deemed necessary, but requires a majority vote of Steering Committee.  Other committee positions have no term limits. 

​Committee Members Retention:  To retain membership on The Committee, a member must meet the following requirements:  
  • ​ Attend Committee meetings regularly—no more than two unexcused absence or three excused absences per year (an absence is excused by notifying other members in advance by email, mail, or telephone and also fulfilling any commitments scheduled for completion by the time of the meeting)  
  • Assume responsibility for one or more recurring Committee tasks or functions beyond attending meetings
​Although the final requirement above may be waived for new Committee members during an initial period of no more than one year, Committee members are expected to assume responsibility for functions beyond attending Committee meetings. This responsibility may include serving as Coordinator for one or more Garden functions or services

​The Committee Duties — The Committee members perform the duties usually connected with such offices as well as other duties as needed. The descriptions outlined below are guidelines, and specific duties are often shared or performed by members to whom that duty is not assigned.

Chair  
  1.  Chair meetings.
  2.   Represent The Gardens in dealings with other organizations.
  3.   Coordinate activities of other officers and committees.   
​Vice-chair / Membership Coordinator  
  1. Act in absence of the Committee Chair.
  2.   Accept new members, collect dues passing dues on to the Treasurer.
  3.  Maintain the roster of members and records associated with The Gardens parcels.
  4.  Maintain The Gardens waiting list.
  5.  Assign parcels to new and existing gardeners.   
Treasurer 
  1.  Pays bills and requests for expense reimbursement.
  2.   Responsible for receiving, depositing, and accounting for all funds received by The Gardens.  
  3.  Retains all account statements for accounts; balances and reconciles statements from these accounts with internal accounting records.
  4.  Maintain records of all expenses and receipts in accordance with good bookkeeping practice.
  5.  Work with local CPA or accounting business for financial reporting and tax preparation.
  6.  Obtain financial reports to The Committee when requested. 
​Secretary
  1.  Take minutes at all meetings, thereby maintaining a record of all business of The Gardens.
  2.  Prepare correspondence in response to activities associated with The Gardens.
  3.  Check The Gardens P.O. box for mail and give to the appropriate Committee member.
  4.  Stamp any checks to The Gardens with a "For Deposit Only" stamp and give checks to treasurer. 
Coordinators — Coordinators serve to manage specific functions of The Garden’s organization and are typically pulled from the membership of Gardeners and/or volunteers.  
 
​Certain core functions are basic and essential to the continued operation of The Gardens.  These core functions include oversight of The Garden’s Educational Programs, Finances, Membership, and Records and are typically gardening members with help from community volunteers. 

​Beyond these core functions, The Committee may decide that The Gardens should provide Coordinators for other services or functions on behalf of its membership or the community at large

​Database Coordinator
  1.  Maintains Facebook and Website accounts; posts current garden by-laws, rules, and forms to The Gardens website and updates calendar of events and scheduled workdays on Facebook. 
  2.  Maintains the essential membership and plot data—in other words, contact information, plot assignments, plot sizes, service assignments, and violation records.   
  3.  Distributes requested information only to other Committee members on a need-to-know basis and perform regular backups of the data.   
 Provide an environment that is as secure as reasonably practical for safeguarding membership information. 


Events Coordinator / In-kind Coordinato​r
  1. ​ Arrange for educational classes, Town Flowers planting days, general meetings and maintain Gardens activity calendar.   
  2.  Coordinate needed in-kind services for The Gardens and maintain list of in-kind providers each season.
  3.  Oversee fundraising projects.
  4.  Oversee garden members' activities and manning of The Gardens Market. 
Historian/Public Relations Coordinator
  1.  Collect, organize and maintain copies of publicity, articles, photos and other printed and digital matter pertaining to The Gardens.
  2.  Make posters, flyers, mail-outs, and other advertisement/marketing materials for The Gardens.
  3.  Ensures events are published in the local newspaper
​Removing a Committee Member
​Although members of The Committee serve no fixed term, a member may under certain circumstances be removed by a majority vote of the full Committee. Differences of opinion are expected, respected and do not, of themselves, constitute grounds for dismissal. If a member fails to meet the requirements of Committee membership, is unable to meet individual and group responsibilities, or demonstrates illegal or unethical behavior or a pattern of disruptive behavior, other members may request a discussion of the particulars and a vote for removal of the member. 

Sub-committees — The Committee may decide to form sub-committees to research proposals before a decision is made on these proposals by the larger Committee.​

Article IV-Records

​Definition — Official records of The Gardens include the bylaws (this document) as currently amended, current Garden rules as approved by The Committee, legal agreements, policy and action documents approved by The Committee, financial statements, and minutes of Committee meetings. 

​Other Documents — all other documents related to the operation of The Garden, including but not limited to bank statements, receipts, correspondence, and drafts are not automatically available to all members, but may be made so generally or on a case-by-case basis by a vote of The Committee.

Availability — Official records of The Gardens shall be made available for inspection by any Garden member upon request. The Committee may publish any or all official records in any manner.

​Data Privacy — Names, contact information, payment information, and other personal data necessary for the collection of plot fees and the operation of The Gardens shall not be distributed to any outside organization nor to Garden Members outside of The Committee and Coordinators. Contact and other personal information shall be distributed internally to Committee members and Coordinators on a “need to know” basis.  

Security— The Committee may establish procedures to ensure that all records and documents of The Gardens are secure from loss

Article V- Financial Practices

​Fiscal Year — the fiscal year of The Gardens shall be January 1 through December 31

Financial Records — all financial records of The Gardens, including but not limited to checks, statements, receipts, check registers, and electronic records of any type shall be available for inspection and copying by all members of The Committee at any time. The Committee may establish written policies concerning the manner in which payments are made and/or how financial records are kept. The Committee may establish procedures to ensure that financial records are secure from loss. 

​Accounts — All outside financial accounts opened on behalf of The Gardens shall have at least two Committee members as registered signatories. 

Article VI- Garden Manager

​Definition — Garden Manager serves to manage specific functions of The Garden’s organization during development or expansion periods or as deemed necessary by majority vote of the standing Committee.  

The Committee may decide to appoint or hire a Gardens Manager.  This may be a paid position if deemed necessary and with majority vote of The Committee.   

The Gardens Manager is not a committee member but would report directly to The Committee for duties assigned.  The descriptions outlined below are guidelines.  
  1. ​Serve notice of rule infractions to violators, after assigned Steering Committee member(s) has a walkthrough to review violations.  
  2.  Monitor and assist with maintenance of grounds, water system, animal & pest control, and fertilizing community & botanical garden areas
  3.  Monitor inventory and physical condition of tools and equipment owned by The Gardens.
  4.  Monitor The Gardens Market and Donation Programs as defined in the Garden Rules (a separate document) or as directed by The Committee.
  5.  Attain committee approval for capital purchases and follow a budget for supplies and parts required for daily operations.
  6.  Manage Educational Program and Events held at The Gardens. 
  7.  Off season search for and apply for grant funding to help fund The Gardens shortages in operating budget and to fund capital needs

Article VII-Dissolution

​1. If dissolution, disbandment, inactivation, or other termination of the Rangely Community Gardens is deemed necessary, it must be approved by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at a duly called general membership meeting.  

2. Upon the dissolution of this organization, assets shall be distributed to one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for public purpose. 
​By-Laws first Approved and signed the ___14th____ day of ______November___   20_13___ 
AMENDED 
January 15, 2014 February 10, 2014 August 15, 2015 – Amended for Tax Exempt Status (Single purpose - Educational)   
The Gardens Steering Committee Officers (August 15, 2015):   
____________________________________ _____________________________________ 
Jennifer Aplanalp, President   ​Elizabeth Robinson-Wiley, Vice President   
_____________________________________ 
Ingrid Reed, Treasurer/Secretary