Site Guidelines

printable version

There is no one-size-fits-all garden rule book. While NeighborSpace requires the following of its sites for legal reasons, gardens can identify additional rules/ supports beyond what is mentioned here. If there are additional questions, please contact us at (773)826-3240.

  • Emergencies, Insurance, and Safety
    • Immediately notify NeighborSpace if any emergency, injury, accident, fire, or damage occurs on the site.
    • Obtain additional insurance coverage as needed if you plan any events at the garden that will attract 300 or more people. Name NeighborSpace as an additional insured.
    • Ensure that the site remains clean, attractive and safe – this includes not just the garden lot itself but also its sidewalks and parkways. Make sure to shovel snow in the winter, and manage weeds and grass in the summer. Failure to do so can result in significant fines.
  • Permitted Activities and Features
    • Keep the following prohibited items and activities out of the garden: vehicles, organized sports, permanent buildings (e.g. garages), traditional playground equipment, water features (fountains, etc.), promotional advertisements, and religious signs.
    • Chicago municipal code allows for up to 5 beehives, and does not explicitly outlaw chickens. Make sure your garden partners and stakeholders- (including neighbors!) are in agreement before bringing in bees, etc. Make sure to also check with NeighborSpace, as special circumstances, such as lease agreements, may prohibit these additions.
    • Use water responsibly and be aware of fall water shut-off dates (approx Oct. 15-31) and spring turn-on dates (approx April 30- May 15).
  • Communication
    • Obtain written permission from NeighborSpace before building any substantial structures in the garden (storage spaces, patios, large shade structures, etc.)
    • Hang NeighborSpace signage on site.
    • Maintain posted contact information on site, providing a way for interested community members to learn more about the garden. If the garden is locked at certain times, post times when the garden is open to the public.
    • When applicable, please provide NeighborSpace with a copy of allotment bed assignments.
    • If your site has a waiting list for allotment beds, ensure that the waiting list procedure is clear, fair, and transparent.