Mud Island Community Garden Constitution
21st January 2023
The name of the group shall be Mud Island Garden Community.
The objectives of Mud Island Community Garden are:
- To establish, maintain and develop a community garden on land managed by the Mud Island Garden Community.
- To provide a safe and welcoming space for adults and children, that is tended and looked after by the group members.
- To facilitate and promote local educational and arts events in the garden.
- To be an organic and sustainable hub of horticultural and food growing knowledge.
- To promote the many links between gardening and our community’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.
The Mud Island Community Garden is an environment free from discrimination, harassment, racism and disrespectful behaviour. The Garden has no political affiliations and is a voluntary community group.
The guiding values and principles of the Mud Island Community Garden are:
Sustainability and biodiversity, connection, diversity and active inclusivity, openness and welcome.
All work and events in the Garden will reflect and uphold these values.
Membership is open primarily for, but not limited to, residents in the North Strand and Ballybough area, who are aged 18 years or more. The Garden has a clear policy of social inclusion and membership is open and encouraged.
Prospective members will fill out an application form, and all members will pay an annual fee. The annual fee per household is currently set at, and shall be agreed upon each year at the annual general meeting. The annual fee shall be 10 euro waged, 5 euro unwaged per household, or such sum as shall be fixed from time to time at an Annual General Meeting, and shall be due on the first day of February in each year.
COMMITTEE, EXECUTIVE GROUP AND WORKING GROUPS
The Committee shall be composed of a minimum of eight and a maximum of fifteen members, and shall be elected each year at the Annual General Meeting by eligible members who attend the AGM. In the event of a person leaving the area or resigning from the Committee, the remaining committee may co-opt another member to fill the position. .
Once elected, the Committee shall nominate and elect an Executive Group composed of Chairperson, Secretary, Financial Officer, Public Relations Officer and Membership Secretary and other positions as deemed necessary by the executive group. Members may serve as officers of the Executive Group for a maximum of four years. They can stand again for re-nomination to the Executive Group after a gap of two years. In exceptional circumstances a member with particular skills (e.g. finance) that are not available within the existing membership, may stand for re-nomination for further years, until they can be replaced. An Executive Group or Committee Member who absents themself from four consecutive meetings without valid excuse shall be deemed to have resigned from the Committee.
A person who holds any elective position in local or central government shall not be eligible for election to the Committee, and any Committee Member wishing to contest such elections must first resign from the Committee. The Committee will reserve a minimum of two places for local residents whose homes back onto the site of the Garden, one of whom should ideally be one of the three signatories on the licence with Dublin City Council.
Committee Meetings: All Committee Meetings shall be convened by the Secretary who shall give due notice of dates and times of such meetings to each Committee Member. Committee meetings will take place at least every six weeks and at most every eight weeks apart. The Secretary shall keep minutes of meetings and records of attendance. The Chairperson shall provide each Committee Meeting with an agenda and the Secretary shall provide each Committee Meeting with copies of the previous Committee Meeting’s minutes. Any four Committee Members, by giving written notice to the Secretary, may also call a meeting. The quorum for Committee Meetings shall be 50% + 1 of current committee members, and must include at least one Executive Group Member.
Executive Group Meetings: The Chairperson may convene meetings of the Executive Group from time to time as deemed necessary by any member of the Executive Group. In the event of an Executive Group meeting taking place, the Chairperson will report the proceedings of this meeting back to the next Garden Committee Meeting.
Working Groups: Working Groups may be agreed annually at the Annual General Meeting when particular bodies of work or events are identified as requiring larger resources and time assigned with specific tasks. Working Groups shall be composed of a minimum of three Members that may be drawn from the Garden Committee and the wider Community Garden Membership.. Committee members are encouraged to join a Working Group, and Committee Members can join up to three different groups. Ad-hoc working groups are also encouraged, and should comprise of at least one Committee Member, and renew/cease as their purpose is fulfilled, and are not counted as one of their three working groups.
Use of Garden
Mud Island recognises the value of participation and welcomes the widest participation possible. The Committee an d Executive Group, in managing this resource, will endeavour to ensure fair use of the garden as a community resource – for classes, events, workshops etc, as well as for gardening.
The garden is open to permitting activity requests from members and from other/separate groups and will accommodate these where it is possible, taking into account that activities must be non-profit making, affordable and accessible to members or where applicable the local community, in keeping with the vision and values of the garden, and fit in with the existing calendar.
Management and Decision Making: The overall management of the Community Garden shall be vested in the Garden Committee, which shall perform all such acts as may be deemed necessary or expedient to further the objectives of the Community Garden. The Garden Committee (and Executive Group and Working Groups) will endeavour at all times to make decisions via consensus. If consensus cannot be reached on any matter, decisions will be made by simple majority vote. In the event that the vote on any decision is tied, the Chairperson of the Committee or Group will have an additional deciding vote. The day to day running of the Community Garden shall be vested in key holding members, who can be ordinary garden members as well as Committee Members, entrusted by the Committee.
Conflicts of Interest: A conflict of interest is any situation in which a committee member or member’s personal loyalties could, or could be seen to, prevent them from making a decision in the best interests of Mud Island Garden Community, or there may be a commercial, monetary or other gain at stake. This personal interest may be direct or indirect, and can include interests of a person connected to the member.
These situations present the risk that a person will make a decision based on, or affected by, these influences, rather than in the best interests of Mud Island Garden Community and therefore must be managed accordingly.
Members are required to declare any potential conflict of interest as soon as you become aware of it. Conflicts of interest is an agenda item at the beginning of all Committee meetings, and at all working group initial meetings.
Where a notification of a conflict of interest has been raised, the Executive Group will deal with the issue in three steps:
- Identify – confirm or otherwise the conflict of interest.
- Manage – where a conflict of interest has been confirmed, the Executive Group will meet with the person(s) with a conflict of interest to discuss how the conflict of interest will be resolved. All decisions made in relation to conflicts of interest will be made in Mud Island Garden Community’s best interests.
- Record – the Executive Group will maintain a record that clearly documents any conflicts of interest that arise and how the Committee has managed them. This record could simply be the minutes of the meeting at which, or in advance of which, the conflict was declared, or where appropriate, a more detailed account of how the conflict of interest was resolved.
The Group shall have a bank account(s) into which all monies received shall be lodged. Cheques shall be signed by a minimum of two people from the executive committee. The Community Garden’s accounts will be presented at each Annual General Meeting . Overall financial governance of the Community Garden will be provided by the Admin Group, consisting of the Chairperson, the Finance Officer, Secretary and at least one other Committee Member (and open to other members as in other working groups?).
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Community Garden shall be held during the first Quarter (January, February or March) of each year. Notice, in writing, must be given to every paid member at least 10 working days prior to the meeting. All members of the Community Garden may submit motions at the AGM for referral to the Committee for discussion and consideration. Such motions must be received by the Secretary not later than three days prior to the meeting.
SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING
A Special General Meeting may be called by the Committee or by requisition signed by not less than 50% of the committee, delivered to the Secretary, who in turn must call such a meeting within 10 working days from the date or receipt of such requisition. Only the business stated in the requisition may be debated at the Special General Meeting, and details of said business should be included in the notice of Meeting sent to all members.
Quorum and Voting Rights: A quorum for an Annual or Special General Meeting shall be 10% + 1 of paid up Garden Members. If a quorum is not reached, the Meeting shall be re-convened and all Members informed of the new date and venue. Those present at a re-convened Meeting shall constitute a quorum.
At all Annual or Special General Meetings, each member attending will have one vote. Voting at all Annual or Special General Meetings shall be by show of hands, except when a ballot is demanded, and a simple majority supports such demand.
The Mud Island Community Garden may be dissolved only by the vote of not less than 80% + 1 present at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose. An audited financial report shall be presented at such meeting. The dissolution will not be put into effect until assets are disposed of and liabilities discharged. In the event of insufficient funds to clear liabilities, the existing members shall contribute the deficiency, in equal shares.
ACCEPTANCE OF RULES
All members of the Garden, current and new, are required to acknowledge, accept and abide by the Mud Island Community Garden Constitution, and the Mud Island Rules and Code of Conduct, which shall be posted on the Garden Website and in a prominent position in the Garden.
The Garden Committee shall have full power to decide any question for which no provision is made for in the Mud Island Community Garden Constitution or the Rules and Code of Conduct, and shall be responsible for proposing the appropriate amendment at the earliest possible time.
AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION
This Constitution shall not be amended, added to, or otherwise altered in any way, save with the consent of at least 50% + 1 of those present and qualified to vote at an Annual General Meeting or at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose in accordance with these rules.
THE MUD ISLAND GARDEN COMMUNITY CONSTITUTION
Title: This group shall be known as the ‘Mud Island Garden Community.
Objectives: The objectives of the group are to establish, maintain and develop a community garden on land managed by the Mud Island Garden Community.
The community garden will be maintained as a safe and welcoming space for adults and children, tended and looked after by the group members. Along with facilitating and promoting local educational and arts events in the garden, we aim to be a hub of horticultural and food growing knowledge. We aspire to be organic and sustainable; and aim to promote the many links between gardening and our community’s mental and physical health and wellbeing.
The Mud Island Project is an environment free from discrimination, harassment, racism and disrespectful behaviour. The group has no political affiliations and is a voluntary community group.
Values: The guiding values and principles of the Mud Island Community Garden are:
Sustainability and biodiversity, connection, diversity and active inclusivity, openness and welcome.
All work and events in the Garden will reflect and uphold theses values.
Membership is primarily for, but not limited to, residents in the North Strand and Ballybough area, over the age of 18. The group has a clear policy of social inclusion and membership is open and encouraged.
All members of the Garden, current and new, are required to acknowledge, accept and abide by the Mud Island Garden Community Constitution, and the Mud Island Rules and Code of Behaviour.
Rules and procedures shall be posted on the Website and in a prominent position in the Garden.
The Committee shall have full power to decide any question for which no provision is made for in the rules and by-laws, and shall be responsible for proposing the appropriate amendment at the earliest possible time.
Prospective members will fill out an application form, and pay an annual fee. The annual fee per household is currently set at 10 euro waged, 5 euro unwaged, and shall be agreed upon each year at the annual general meeting.
Committee: Mud Island Garden Community Committee should be elected each year at an annual general meeting of members, including a chairperson, a secretary, and a treasurer. In the event of a person leaving the area or resigning from the committee, the remaining committee may co-opt another member to fill the position. A person who holds any elective position in local or central government shall not be eligible for election to the committee, and any committee member wishing to contest such elections must first resign from the committee. The committee will reserve a minimum of two places for local residents whose homes back onto the site of the garden.
Committee meetings: All committee meetings shall be convened by the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Finance Officer or Membership Secretary, who shall give due notice of dates and times of such meetings to each committee member. The Secretary shall keep minutes of meetings and records of attendance and provide the committee with an agenda and copies of previous meeting’s minutes.
Management: The overall management of the project shall be vested in the Committee, who shall perform all such acts, as may be deemed necessary or expedient to further the objectives of the project. The day to day running of the community garden shall be vested in key holding members.
Working Groups: Working Groups (with minimum 3 members) will be agreed annually at the AGM where particular bodies of work or events are identified as requiring larger resources and time assigned with specific tasks. Committee members are encouraged to join a working group, and members can join up to three different groups. Ad hoc working groups are also encouraged, and should comprise of at least one committee member, and renew/cease as its purpose is fulfilled.
One permanent working group, rotating on an annual basis, will the Resolution Group, which will comprise of a minimum of three existing committee members (and a maximum of five committee members). Its purpose shall be to deliberate and provide a decision of any/all issues of conflict, referred to it in the event of non-resolution elsewhere. Its decision will be issued in writing within one working week and its determination shall be final. No person who is a party to the conflict shall form part of the said Resolution Forum Committee.
The Project recognises the value of participation and welcomes the widest participation possible. The committee, in managing this resource, will endeavour to ensure fair use of the garden – for classes, events, workshops etc, and as a community resource.
The Project is open to permitting activity requests from other/separate groups and will accommodate these where it is possible.
Banking Procedure: The Group shall have a bank account(s) into which all monies received shall be lodged. Cheques shall be signed by a minimum of two people (chairperson, treasurer, secretary or finance office). The Project’s accounts will be presented at each AGM. Financial governance of the Project will be provided by the Finance Group, consisting of the Treasurer, the Finance Officer and at least one other committee member.
The following are some basic rules for all garden users and are based on the rules abided by in most other community gardens in Dublin.
- For insurance purposes, the community garden can only be used by local residents who have access to the site, and members of Mud Island Community Garden Group.
- Children are only allowed in the garden accompanied by a parent or guardian and must be supervised by them at all times. Toddlers need to be actively supervised around garden tools and equipment, and older children need to behave and not hurt or bully other children. If the presence of any child causes concern because of lack of supervision or behaviour they may be asked to leave the garden.
- All gardeners are encouraged to bring their own tools for digging and planting
- Gardeners are expected to help out with weeding, digging, watering etc. and in return are allowed to take food for their own consumption
- Strictly no alcohol or banned substances allowed in the garden
- The garden will only be accessible on specified days (to be defined) where gardeners are welcome to dig in.
- Key keepers must never duplicate keys or lend the keys to someone not involved with the community garden.
- For security purposes, gates to be secured when the garden is not being used.
- A list of all key-holders will be held by the Secretary (or other office-holder), indicating present holders.
- Those working in the garden must have due consideration for residents in the immediate area, they must refrain from being on site before 9am and after 9pm during Summer months (March to October) and 9am to 5pm during Winter months (November to February). Any work that involves loud noise must be kept within the official time limits laid down by Dublin City Council.
- Access for residents must not be hindered by activities of the gardening group.
- Full consideration must be given to local residents and no nuisance should be caused to local residents.
Health and Safety
- The community garden must be maintained with full consideration of the health and safety of all involved in the project.
- Tools must be safely placed and supports must be appropriate and firmly secured, not posing a risk of injury.
- Water butts, compost bins and other containers must be contained within the community garden’s boundaries.
- The surrounds around raised beds must be of a suitable material for its purpose and height and must be well fixed and supported.
- Pets must be kept under restraint at all times. Pet foul must be cleaned up, and persistently barking dogs must be removed.
- Rocks, stones, and other debris removed from community garden must be carefully disposed of.
Environmental and Legal
- The community garden must be maintained in an environmentally friendly manner and for sole purpose of growing crops for private and domestic use.
- Chemicals and pesticides must be avoided and those not approved by the Department of Agriculture are strictly prohibited.
- Illegal plants must not be grown.
Key Holder Contacts:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 0870624321
email: email@example.com tel: 085 7106115
email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel 085 7470607
Maeve Foreman (opens on a Saturday)
email: email@example.com tel: 086 168 3702
Mary Kennedy (opens on a Tuesday)
email: firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 0871319554
Email: email@example.com tel: 086 8292556
Ross Golden Bannon (opens on a Thursday)