Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Help Wanted: Garden Manager

Do you love to garden or grow things?  Do you want to volunteer and give back to your community, your neighbors and the world? Do you like to be outside?   Do you want to immerse yourself in community gardening and urban agriculture? Did you love the Ram Super Bowl ad praising farmers?   Then PLEASE consider serving as the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden Manager!

We’re looking for an organized person – of any age – to help us by managing the SACG, our gardeners and volunteers. Maybe you’re a retiree with extra time on your hands.  Maybe you’re a college student looking for leadership experience, non-profit experience or an internship.  Maybe you're between jobs.  Maybe you already work full-time in an office.  Maybe you like working with children.  Maybe you don’t like working with children.  You can set your own schedule – so that you volunteer in the mornings and/or the evenings and/or on weekends.  You do not need to know much about gardening (although it would be extremely helpful), but you must be willing to learn and teach yourself.
If you are interested, please contact me with information about why you want to be the Garden Manager and explaining your qualifications. (A resume would be extremely helpful, but is not necessary). Even if you are not interested, maybe you know someone who might be and can pass this information along.  
You may also email me with any questions about the Garden Manager position or the application process.
 The Stoddart Avenue Community Garden, Inc. is an Ohio non-profit corporation that is exempt from taxation under IRC §501(c)(3) as a public charity. We are located just off East Main Street on the near-east side of  Columbus (just a few blocks west of Bexley).  All gardeners are encouraged to donate a portion of their produce to area food pantries.

Here is the job description approved by the SACG Board. 

Position Description

Title: Garden Manager
Work Area/Department: Operations
Reports to: President of Board of Trustees
Exempt Status:  Part-time, Volunteer                                          Date Approved:  2-3-13

I. Purpose:  To recruit, lead and coordinate volunteers and gardeners to maintain and improve the Garden.

II.  Essential Responsibilities

  1. Acts as the Chief Operations Officer of the Garden.  This includes:

1.      Supervising and ensuring the physical maintenance, improvement and upkeep of the Garden;

2.      Enforcing Rules adopted by the Board of Trustees;

3.      Making reports as needed to the Board and (and at least annually) to the Members;

4.      Making recommendations as to areas of improvement for the Garden and possible grant opportunities;

5.      Communicating regularly with gardeners and alerting them to growing and maintenance issues and events at the Garden.   This includes assigning and monitoring the performance of chores;

6.      Conducting regular inventory of tools, supplies and assets;

7.      Establishing and maintaining good working relationships and lines of communication with Garden’s neighbors and neighborhood children;

8.      Providing written acknowledgement and appreciation for all donations to the Garden;

9.      Maintaining regular “office” hours at the Garden each week.

         B. Recruits, leads and coordinates activities of gardeners and Garden volunteers.  This includes:

               1.    Recruiting, orienting, scheduling and supervising a sufficient number qualified volunteers in order to maintain and improve the Garden;

               2. Developing and providing gardeners and volunteers with positive-thinking leadership, direction,     feedback, training and recognition regarding individual job performance;

               3. Monitoring, tracking and evaluating effectiveness of volunteer recruitment, hours of         service and management activities;

               4.  Matching each volunteer to appropriate task based on skills and need;

               5.  Developing sources of potential volunteers from the community, university students,         internships, senior organizations, churches, other agencies, and businesses;

               6.  Canvassing gardeners, and neighborhood organizations and maintaining up-dated list of volunteer opportunities at the Garden;

               7. Contributing to the Garden’s website and newsletter; and

               8.  Arranging for the provision of sufficient supplies (including tools) and refreshments for volunteers for work days and special events.

III.  Other Responsibilities

Continuously learn and communicate best practices for gardening.  Network with other community gardens in order to maximize opportunities and education.  Work with Garden’s Treasurer to maximize available funds.  Engage in public relations activities to recruit gardeners and volunteers. May also (after passing background check) provide garden tutoring to groups of neighborhood  children.  Perform special projects and other duties as assigned.

IV. Competencies: Skills That Are Necessary for Successful Performance of Duties:

·        Maintains a positive attitude while meeting goals even in the face of significant obstacles and uncooperative people.  Communicates confidence to others.  Is not distracted by negativity. Demonstrates a sense of humor and perspective about setbacks.

·        Builds Relationships/Collaborates.  Values and respects the concerns and feelings of others.  Shows empathy, respect and appreciation for individuals and diversity.  Builds and maintains an internal and external network of relationships with partners for potential collaborations and coalitions.   Optimizes performance of Garden and self through shared resources and responsibilities, by facilitating collaborations with groups and by promoting team-building.

·        Professionalism/Ethics. Regularly demonstrates a high level of integrity through direct, open, honest and ethical communication with others. Fosters an ethical environment. Assumes personal responsibility.  Shows discretion when appropriate or required. 

·        Works independently with minimal supervision.  Follows instructions given by supervisor.  Reports important information to supervisor and asks questions as needed from a variety of sources.  Does not regularly interact with supervisor to seek approval, clarification, or additional information after initial assignment is given.  Completes assignments and responsibilities on time without being reminded. 

·        Project Management.  Organizes and supervises projects involving various stakeholders within and outside the Garden.  Collaborates with others, strategizes about options and delivers the expected product or service on time and under budget.  Communicates with various stakeholders with competing interests.  Plans, delegates and schedules the necessary tasks.  Establishes budgets and authority to take action as needed.

·        Managing Volunteers.  Creates system for recruiting and managing volunteers in a variety of situations.  Sets clear expectations on time commitment, tasks and conduct. Recognizes efforts and performance.  Trains and evaluated volunteers and expands roles as appropriate.  Provides volunteers with adequate description of role and how that role contributes to the Garden.

·        Embraces and is sensitive to cross-cultural differences. Accepts and respects cultural differences.  Demonstrates the capacity for cultural self-assessment. Is conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact.

·        Effective Communication.  Speaks and writes clearly and appropriately to the intended audience in both formal and informal settings.  Expresses appropriate gestures and non-verbal communication.  Remains focused on point at hand during communication.  Listens and reacts to questions by other appropriately.  Uses effective listening skills to maintain self-esteem and respond with empathy to the feelings and needs of others, including the use of active listen skills (summarizing, reflecting, not interrupting, etc.) to demonstrate understanding and sensitivity.   Pays attention when others speak.  Gives cues of interest.  Summarizes and paraphrases ideas of others to show active listening. Is able to express ideas in writing, using good grammar and style.  Organizes and presents ideas in a logical, concise and meaningful form. 

·        Constructive Conflict  Encourages open discussion of feelings and constructive challenging of problems, opinions and decisions.  Recognizes that conflict can be a valuable part of the decision-making process.  Is comfortable with healthy conflict and both supports and manages differences of opinion.   Thwarts destructive competition or friction and uses consensus and collaboration to debate and resolve issues. Seeks win-win solutions with others.

·        Multi-Tasking/Time Management.  Balances competing demands from various projects and individuals while maintaining progress on each project and assignment.   Progress towards meeting deadlines is not significantly diminished by frequent interruptions or other demands.  Prioritizes assignments and responsibilities with knowledge of competing demands.   Delegates or seeks assistance as needed. 

·        Results Orientation.  Takes necessary action to achieve or exceed assigned goals.  Is dedicated to achieving desired results without compromising the Garden’s values or procedures.  Conveys a sense of urgency to make things happen.   Respects the need to balance short- and long-term goals.  Maintains energy to proceed at pace required to produce results.  Values outcomes and desired results.  Manages multiple tasks.

V.  Work Experience and Education
Requires high school degree or equivalent and at least two prior years of experience in professional or volunteer leadership role.  Requires working knowledge of word processing software and growing food and flowers.  Must have access to email, internet, printer and personal computer/laptop.


VI.  Physical and Mental Requirements
Must be able to organize physical facilities (including tools, and building materials); lift and carry up to 30 pounds; listen; work with frequent interruptions; demonstrate patience with volunteers, neighborhood children and donors; communicate with a wide variety and diverse group of people; develop short and long term strategies and be present at the Garden on average 5-10 hours each week during growing season.

Monday, February 4, 2013

SACG Board Meets to Set 2013 Agenda

Yesterday, the Board of Trustees for the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden met at Cup O’Joe’s in Bexley to discuss plans for 2013.

The opening day for the 2013 gardening season will be April 6, 2013.   The rain date will be April 13.  This year we will be joined by student volunteers from The Ohio State University who will be ending their Pay-It-Forward week.  A copy of the 2013 Garden Agreement and Rules will be posted here in March.  (Or you can email me for your own special copy if you can’t wait that long.  It is time, after all, to begin starting seeds indoors and plots are awarded first-come-first served).

The Board also approved a job description for the Garden Manager position.  (Yes, it’s time to pass the shovel to someone else for a while).  A copy will be posted here tomorrow.