NeighborSpace recognizes that community gardens are places where diverse people work together in a shared space. The ability for gardeners to maintain a positive relationship with other garden participants (including fellow gardeners, community organization partner personnel, neighbors, etc.) is dependent on the ability of the group to resolve disputes in a timely manner.
First, Try Positive Communication Methods
Active listening can assist all invested parties early in conflict. Also, open and honest dialogue around conflict should be expected and welcomed. Feedback can be challenging to give and receive and we ask that all groups recognize that and be thoughtful in their approach and reception of feedback.
When That Doesn’t Work, Try Mediation
While most conflicts can be resolved internally, there may be occasional situations that require the support of a neutral third party. If participants of NeighborSpace gardens find themselves in a conflict that they are unable resolve on their own, participants agree to the following procedure:
- Participant(s) will inform NeighborSpace that there is a conflict.
- Participant(s) may choose to disclose the nature of the conflict to NeighborSpace or participant(s) may simply request mediation.
- Alternatively, NeighborSpace, in its discretion, may refer participants to mediation.
- NeighborSpace will contact the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR), a neutral, third-party organization and provide them with the names and contact information for the participants who will be participating in mediation.
- Staff from CCR will contact the participants for mediation to discuss the process, answer any questions, and to schedule the mediation.
Mediation is an opportunity for individuals in conflict to meet with a neutral, third-party mediator to discuss their conflict and have a productive conversation. Mediations at CCR are confidential. The only information that will be shared with NeighborSpace is when the mediation is scheduled, if and when a mediation is held, who attends the mediation, and whether or not an agreement was reached.
Please Note: NeighborSpace has no tolerance for harassment, threats or other behavior that is explicitly illegal and may immediately revoke an existing Partnership Agreement if anyone involved in the garden engages in such behaviors.