Meeting Minutes for December 11, 2015

Attending: Heike, Lisa, Isabelle, Christine, Aysia, Remi
Date: Friday, December 11, 2015, 7:34 PM to 8:51 PM
Location: Renfrew Community Centre Pub

Lisa prepared a preliminary project budget for the community garden and used the following components as the basis:
– 16 to 26 beds
– Two bed sizes: 12 feet x 4 feet and 4×4 (4 feet seems to be the ideal width for easy access to the middle of the bed)
– The beds will consist of 5 4×4 stacked cedar posts (approximate height: 18 inches)
– Since the beds will be the skeleton of our garden, we agreed to invest in high-quality materials
– Each bed will cost approximately $565
– Compost bins will cost approximately $300 per bin
Overall, we are expecting to spend between $10-15k to build the garden. While some materials will be provided by the City of Calgary (soil, bike racks, trees, etc), we can also try to find used fences and use tool libraries to reduce our costs. Other materials could also be acquired cheaply through donations or we could ask retailers for discounts. * We will work with RCA and see if it is possible to issue tax receipts for donations.
Lisa mentioned that the approved site for the garden has been reduced so the “Renfrew Community map” design will probably no longer fit. That being said, we will share our designs with the architects and see if they can make it work. It was also noted that garden fences and signs cannot be higher than 4 feet.

Lisa updated the grant letter and included some of the basic guidelines/requirements for the garden. The deadline for applications will be January 15th. We will need at least 3 quotes before we can submit to the Park Foundation. They will then decide whether to award us the grant.
Christine suggested including a statement in the letter about how the garden will represent the community and how we’ll work to integrate a community flavor in the garden.
We will also ask the architects to consider accessibility in their designs.

Heike prepared an annual budget which aims to demonstrate that we have a plan for sustainability. Some items will require a large investment up front (e.g. compost), but costs will decrease over time once we are set up.
The annual budget will help us determine our basic operating costs after capital and also include revenues (fundraising, donations, memberships) as well as assets (how much beds, materials and tools would be worth if we sold them). At this time we couldn’t budget for water so more research is required.

Christine gave an update on her grant research and suggested that we concentrate our efforts on smaller grants as it is more likely that we will be successful in obtaining those. Christine will contact the foundations next week to get more information on the grants and see if we stand a chance.
Grant season is January to March although many grants are available year round or quarterly. We will need a clear budget of capital and annual operations before we can start applying.
Christine also suggested that we include the list of executive committee members and positions as well as a list of garden applications with the grant.

The next meeting will take place on January 8th at 7:30pm.