Updated April 16, 2023
The Bayside Community Garden was established at 78 Chestnut Street in 2001 as a project of the Bayside Neighborhood Association. The BCG is unique in being Portland’s only community garden run by a neighborhood association, receiving no material support or funding from the City. For over twenty years the BNA, its gardeners, and its supporters have poured their heart and souls into keeping this rare Bayside green space going despite a challenging urban environment and the mounting pressure of incoming development.
As a true community garden, all Bayside Community Garden plot holders are required to assist in maintenance, operations and/or management of the garden under direction of the garden coordinator and in accordance with garden policies.
The goal of these policies is to ensure the Bayside Community Garden (BCG) enhances the livability and equality of the Bayside neighborhood and provides a well-managed and inviting green space for all who use and visit it for years to come.
All gardeners and non-plot holding volunteers are required to fill out this form at the beginning of each season attesting they have read and accept these policies before beginning to work in the garden. Information on the steering committee structure and roles may be found here.
The mission of the BCG includes increased food security for lower income Bayside residents, especially new Mainers; and providing community access to green space, which the neighborhood severely lacks. This policy acknowledges and seeks to address those systemic inequities.
Anyone in the community and other neighborhoods may apply to hold a garden plot or to volunteer without holding a plot.
Bayside residents are given first refusal of available plots and are put at the top of the waitlist. There are generally enough plots available to accommodate gardeners who wish to work a plot.
June 1 – Plots must be cleared and initial planting completed.
June 15 – Planting for first crops must be complete.
July 1 – A plot must show that it has been consistently maintained.
November 1 – All plots must be cleaned out and shut down for winter.
If a plot appears abandoned by July 1, the fee will be forfeited and the plot will be offered to the next person on the waitlist at ⅔ the fee being charged at the time the plot is forfeited. If there are no takers, the plot will be cleared and/or used by the BNA at its discretion.
All plots must be consistently maintained for the entire gardening season and closed down appropriately for the off-season.
Trash in and around an individual plot must be removed by the plot holder as soon as possible and disposed of appropriately along with the trash collected from common areas.
All plantings, structures and signage must be kept within assigned plots. Plot perimeters outside of the physical box must be consistently trimmed and maintained by the plot holder or designated volunteer.
The growing of marijuana and invasive plants is prohibited.
Common Area Maintenance
All common areas outside of individual garden plots must be kept neat, trimmed and maintained and invasive plants must be controlled throughout the growing season according to a schedule developed by the operations manager.
Paths around and between beds must be kept free of plants, structures, overgrowth, etc. for safe and unobstructed passage and be covered with wood chips to control weed growth.
In order to ensure safe and fair use of common areas, intentional plantings outside of garden plots are only allowed with approval by the BNA Board. Unauthorized plantings outside of approved areas may be removed.
The berm between the compost bins and the road (Hall Court) and surrounding vegetation must be consistently maintained to prevent growth of weeds, vines, etc. Plants at the side of the road and the fenceline by the sidewalk must be kept trimmed back.
General trash removal should happen on a daily basis as gardeners tend their own plots; a designated volunteer may be appointed to oversee this task.
Regular trash bags should be used and may be deposited in either the dumpster behind the former shelter at 203 Oxford Street or the one next to the ramp in the parking lot across from Hall Court on Cedar Street.
Large or bulky trash items left in the garden such as shopping carts should be brought to the attention of the garden coordinator, who will arrange for their removal.
Trash must also be regularly monitored and removed during the off season between November and May.
Graffiti, vandalism, or dumping of trash should be reported immediately to the Garden Coordinator.
Multilingual signs will be posted indicating that touching or picking plants without permission is discouraged.
Respectful signage may be displayed by gardeners within their own plots if they wish to discourage picking of their plants.
General garden signage and plantings outside of assigned plots must be approved by the garden coordinator.
“Keep Out” signs will be maintained at either end of the raspberry stand as this area has previously attracted tent encampments.
The garden is open to everyone to visit and enjoy between dawn and dusk.
Touching or picking of gardeners’ plants without permission is discouraged – however, as the garden is a publicly accessible space, gardeners may experience loss of plantings, structures or items left in the garden. If excessive loss or vandalism of plants or garden structures or fixtures is noted, please alert the Garden Coordinator.
Dogs must be kept on leash and waste picked up. Signage to this effect, or restricting dogs from the garden, will be considered if this becomes a problem.
Illegal or disruptive activity and drug or alcohol use is not allowed by gardeners, volunteers or garden visitors.
No tenting, camping, or related activities are allowed. If a campsite is discovered, please alert the garden coordinator or call the Police non-emergency dispatch at (207) 874-8575 to request their behavior health team make contact with the campers and connect them with appropriate services.
Please note – the garden is located on private property; not owned by the BNA; and not subject to the City encampment policy. Reasonable attempts will be made to find the people associated with a campsite, but in no case will an encampment or belongings be allowed to remain indefinitely on garden property.
Health and Safety
Any found hypodermic syringes or other hazardous or questionable materials should be reported to the Garden Coordinator, who will address them appropriately.
*Gardeners who choose to deposit syringes in the needle box attached to the garden shed do so at their own risk. Using gloves or using a trash grabber is best practice.
Immediate safety or wellbeing concerns on the property should be addressed by calling Police non-emergency dispatch at (207) 874-8575 or 911 as appropriate. The address to reference is 78 Chestnut Street.
Please know that the Portland Police Department has a robust and experienced civilian behavioral health and alternative response unit which is dispatched when indicated for mental health and substance use concerns. They work closely with social service providers to connect people with needed resources.
End of Season
Garden plots must be closed down by November 1.
Plants that remain for the next season must be trimmed back to 2’ or less and the plot raked clear of plant matter and debris. Remove all loose items and anything that may be taken, blown away, or damaged by winter weather. When possible lay fencing and other structures flat within the bed of the plot.
Make a plan for discarding unwanted plants, fencing, stakes, etc. No items may be left outside the plot or abandoned in the common areas of the garden. Remove all trash and debris from common areas.
A volunteer must be assigned to regularly remove trash over the winter until the following planting season.