Fees and Payment Info for Garden Plots

Since the reopening of the San Pedro Community Gardens (SPCGs) the fees have increased dramatically. There are more groups involved in the management and need to be compensated for their work. Mainly, the increase is due to the water fees assessed at the garden Section level. Currently, there is no system where bigger plots using more water are charged for more usage as compared to a smaller garden, or an area with less sections or water usage. Keep this in mind as you review the garden fees:

Garden Fees

Garden Membership fee: $30/year
Water fee (assessed quarterly) but now fixed at: $20/month ($60/quarter or $240/year)
Total Annual fee: $240 + $30 = $270
Yearly Cost: $270

Where to Send Payment

This is the mailing address for LA Community Garden Council.

LA Community Garden Council
PO Box 147
Cypress, CA 90630-9998

Make checks payable to: LA Community Garden Council
On your check write down in the memo section your section/submeter/plot # + [your name]

When To Pay?

Currently, gardeners do not receive any bill or notification of dues other than at meetings. You can pay quarterly or yearly.

Failure to Pay Dues on Time

If you fail to pay you will receive a verbal communication from your section leader, then a letter will be mailed, and lastly a violation notice will be posted on your garden informing you of garden lock-out.

Adjusting Mission and New Oversight and Advocacy Board

Previously, the main purpose of this website was to advocate for changes to make the garden a better place. The challenge with the city over the Water Wars turned our mission to advocacy for regular water. Without water gardening was impossible. We also advocated for the need to have more autonomy over garden decisions.

Some of these issues were addressed with the closing of the gardens for the installing the new irrigation system.

The other issue was the questionable management of the gardens by the haphazard garden leadership. To help with this, two non-profits were brought in by the city to help – From Lott To Spot, and LA Community Garden Council. For a fee, they are assisting us with the administration of the garden, including dues, payments, improvements, and leadership.

Our New Focus Going Forward

Moving forward advocacy will still be in the fore-front of our mission, but we realize the important of having an Oversight function as well. Since there are some many parties now involved in the decision-making process it is vital to ensure the leadership is held responsible for their decisions and make ensure that they represent the gardeners.

The Start of an Oversight Board

We will now also function as an Oversight Board to ensure not only the garden leadership is held to account, but also, the other parties involved including, and not limited to LA Community Garden Council, the City, the Major’s office, LA Sanitation, et al. With out proper follow up it is very easy for commitments to fall through the cracks. The start of an Oversight Board will make sure the rules and regulations are being fairly and consistently being applied. Everyone will be able to bring their issues to this website and discuss any violations, inconsistencies and other inequitable issues that will arise in the future. This site will serve as an independent and anonymous way to bring issues to the fore-front so they can be addressed.

To Join the Oversight and Advocacy Board

  • Cannot hold a current leadership position in the San Pedro Community Garden or any parties involved in the administration of the gardens.
  • You can be a member of the San Pedro Community Gardens or have experience with other community gardens
  • Be in good standing with the San Pedro Community Gardens
  • Want to learn and improve the community
  • Represent people to might not be able to advocate for themselves
  • Be able to take a stand against injustice
  • Be a role model for others to look up to
  • Volunteer a few hours a week
  • Access to a computer and work with Google docs or other collaboration system online

Join the Board by emailing your interest to: spcogardens@gmail.com

Report Issues about the Gardens

If you have an issue, please bring it up. If this has happened to you, then prevent it from happening again – do not remain silent.

You can remain anonymous if you like. Please report any issue you think should be addressed here: spcogardens@gmail.com

Garden Hours, Access and RMI Security

Gardening Hours

Garden hours for gardeners are from sunrise to sunset 7 days-a-week. This means a gardener can take their vehicle and park as close to their plot as necessary.

Gardeners and Vehicle Access Issue

Something changed in garden hours and vehicle access.

Yesterday, Saturday September 12, 2020, I (other gardeners as well) was stopped and prevented from entering the garden with my car by the on-duty patrol man. The gate was closed and the sun had not yet set. This was around 6 pm when there is still light out to garden.

The Issue

RMI has arbitrarily changed the hours, and access for gardeners without permission from the LA Garden Counsel, Lott To Spott, Mayor Buscaino’s office, and the Garden leadership.

If any of the above groups were involved in the agreeing to cut off access and limit the garden hours, then that decisions needs to be communicated to all the gardeners affected by this decision. As of today, RMI has went ahead and made this decision by themselves.

RMI sole purpose is to provide security to the Recycle Center. The City Recycle Center shares an easement with The San Pedro Community Gardens and City Services. By cutting off access and reducing hours to the other groups who use this easement is an issue.

Cutting off access is very problematic for gardeners who have water, compost, soil, veggies, and equipment to take from their car to their gardens and vice versa.

Why This Is Now Our Issue

RMI security allowed a parked vehicle over-night when it should not have. This is an RMI issue and not a garden issue. The patrol person should have been more alert and told the car to move after sunset. Now they have over-reached and cut-off access to gardeners.

The Solution

There is a patrol monitoring the bottom Recycle Center easement and can easily close the gates after sunset 7 days-a-week. After sunset all cars must be moved.

Unofficial Posting About Fees and Water Usage

Posted 5/22/20

This unofficial posting was posted at the San Pedro Community Gardens.

The content may lead some to believe this is an official notice from Mayor Buscaino’s office and other groups involved in the garden renovation, but based on the following reasons it is not:

  • The tone was not professional and very confrontational
  • The content was questionable with no record keeping for paying of fees
  • Logos from Mayor Buscaino’s office, Lott to Plot, and the LA Garden Council not on the document
  • This notice was visible in a few limited places

This goes to the bigger questions of who and where should these official notices be posted to be credible.

Leadership needs to abide by a set of rules to have a dedicated and secure posting area. Postings also need to include the official logos for credibility, otherwise they are fake news.

This prevents unofficial postings and reduces confusion among gardeners during a time of transition to the new water system.

Lastly, those individuals who post these fake postings should be removed from the garden and lose gardening privileges for disseminating the wrong information on behalf of the organizations involved in the renovation.

No Improvements After The From Lot to Spot Meeting on 091518

It has been about 3 months since the meeting with Maria From Lot to Spot and nothing has improved at the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens (SPAYCG).

There has been no word to the gardeners if nothing of the ideas presented at the meeting is moving forward. Maria and Julie from the LA Garden Council presented at the last meeting and there seems to have been no progress made.

A vote was to be arranged to move ahead with the proposals presented by both Maria and Julie, yet no meeting or votes have been scheduled.

The watering schedule is still limited to 2 days. Most gardeners maybe water 1 day per week. Each day the water is only for 3 hours. So, the garden is in bad shape again.

2018 is almost over and the SPAYCG is in the same situation as 4 years ago when the Sanitation department first cut water to the gardeners.

The city needs to do something again if these organizations they bought on don’t do anything soon.

Water Schedule – August 2018

Again,  Sector 3 is burdened with additional 4 “lotes” lots.

The water schedule is still subject to change every 2 weeks. The reason given, “The changes are due to the fact that some areas are not favored with water.”

This makes no sense. What areas? Seems like Sector 3 should have more watering days, not adding more “lotes” to our watering days. See no reason for the schedule change when nothing else is changing. All areas are given an equal number of watering days. As it stands, we only get 4 watering days out of 31 days of August all front loaded at the beginning of August. What about the last 2 weeks of August. Plants need water at the end of the month too.

Gardening on 13% water in the month of August is a joke. How is this gardening?! This is absolutely ridiculous. Can’t others (Carlos) do math to see that 250 gardeners cannot maintain gardens on 13% watering. Not to mention, this is only for 3 hours on those days. Sigh!

August Water Schedule 2018
Water Schedule – August 2018

Inequitable Bi-Weekly Watering Schedule

The watering schedule arranged by Carlos (Board) has inequality built in again. Carlos and the “Board” consistently makes bad decisions.

The biggest issue with this water inequality schedule is in Sector 3. Sector 3 was the most affected by the water source being closed on the north side, no water for almost 3 years while other sectors did. Then, with the pipe reconfiguration, many were left without proper piping and/or irrigation.

Now, to add insult to injury Carlos is burdening Sector 3 water-load to 8 areas ( #1, #13, #14, #15, and +4 lotes (lots)). It makes not sense to have another 4 “lotes” included in Sector 3 when all sectors have their appointed watering days and times listed on the schedule. Unless Carlos is opening the water to other sectors when he should not be.  Carlos needs to be questioned about this decision.

Biweekly watering schedule

Sectors 1 and 2, the least burdened, only serve water to  5 areas. Remember each area serves about 40-50 gardens, so the more areas, the more water is required and the longer hours needed.

Making a schedule that changes every 2 weeks is bad. This means we don’t know when water is going to be available consistently and without change. Also, it would help if there were watering days in both the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM). This would also help spread the water load to different times. Now, people are forced to use it at the same time, causing low water pressure, and not enough water. People have different schedules and by not offering both leaves gardens to die.

Once again Carlos and the Board have made decisions that are bad for the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens. They have let down the gardeners they are meant to serve. This trend of bad decision making will continue with Carlos and his appointed “Board” until they are replaced.

Incorrect Water Piping Layout

In area 13, 14, and 15, the irrigation system is a mess. The foundation of the piping was bad to start with. When the water source on the northside was shut down there were many unsuccessful attempts to solve the water problems.

There was the initial piping with the water source from the northside, so all piping was configured to water the gardens from that source. It worked fine.

After, there have been 2 new attempts to route water to area 13, 14, 15 (there might be other areas without water which I am not aware of).  For now, we will address these areas since I know what has been done.

There was an attempt to re-pipe and configure the water initiated by 2 gardeners. Let’s call this system the “A-system” with the water sources coming from the northside. Because of conflict with Carlos (Board), the system was never “official” even though the new piping was completed.

Then, another system, let’s call this “C-system” was implemented which was a hybrid system connecting to A-system using the water source closer to the Green house.  This C-system is done incorrectly.

The diagram below shows the dashed (–) lines as the main ateries into the garden. The pipes are setup to distribute water into only half of one artery leaving the rest of the lower gardens without water.  The 2 smaller pipes (right of diagram) only supply water to private gardens.

C-system: Incorrectly configured and not going down main arteries into garden.

It exludes piping to one of the main arteries into the garden. This cause gardens to not have water and places the water piping in private gardens which makes no sense. This then becomes an issue when trying to connect new pipes. Gardeners who benefits from the placement of water pipes do not want others connecting to that water sources as they feel a right of false ownership because of pipe placement in their gardens. They don’t want to have less water and or pressure. These private water pipes should be moved to the main artery of the garden.

This is the C-system in place and needs improvement to provide water to lower gardens.

Still No Water

I was really hopeful to have water, but I’m sad to report no water.

So what was done?

Dues collected from the 85 gardeners who have not had water. A notice was put up and then taken down after about 7 days. It was more like 2 days for collection of dues since I was there on the first day and Carlos was not in the office at the allocated time to collect money.

No emails were sent to them, no calls were made, no attempt to be proactive by “The Board” to notify people, except for a posted notice. I’m sorry to say, gardeners might have lost their gardens since they did not have a chance to see the dues notice. This is unfair to them. How could they anticipate this after so many years of no water when the notice was going to be put up? There should be an appeals process put in place to rectify this issue.

New LA Garden Counsel rules were given to us. I have compared the rules to other gardens, and the main rule that say’s gardens should be for the residents of San Pedro was missing. Other community gardens have this requirement and so should the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens.

As for the water – it appears as if it was a pipe that was already connected. The shut-off valve was simply turned on to allow water to move to our side of the garden.

The gardens at the top benefit because of the water pipe location and being turned on. It never reaches the bottom gardeners who are affected the most severely from not having water for years. This tells me, no additional piping was done to fix the water problems and supply water with proper pressure to all the lower gardens.

“The Board” has once again done a below expectation job of implementing this new water system. Right now, it’s simply a schedule. Until more thought, and all gardens are getting water fairly will not improve our gardens. For now, there is NO water.