Gardening on Rental Property

Do you garden as a renter?
Are you a landlord who has thought about allowing tenant gardening?

Gardening Matters is working in partnership with the City of Minneapolis and the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) to make gardening on rental property easier. To identify the types of tools and information most needed by property owners and renters. Over the summer, Gardening Matters conducted two listening sessions and solicited written feedback online from both property owners and renters. Based on the information we heard, we have developed tools that can help property owners and renters connect, communicate, and have successful gardens.

We invite you to take a look at our draft tools and give us your thoughts!  Want to hear more?
Join us for a meal and conversation about the findings, where you can contribute edits to the communication tools!

When: September 25, 6:00-7:30pm
Where: Sabathani Community Center, Room 218


Summary of Listening Session and Survey Findings

Talking Points for Renters

Sample Lease Addendum

If you have not yet taken the survey but would like to share your thoughts, please complete the appropriate form below!

Contact Nadja to learn more!

Program Coordinator Position Opening

Gardening Matters Program Coordinator Job Description

September 9, 2014

Applications are due by September 26th.  Position is open until filled; preferred start in early November.

Gardening Matters is a small nonprofit dedicated to promoting and preserving community gardening across the Twin Cities by connecting gardeners to each other and to the communities in which they reside. We provide training and resources to support successful and sustainable community gardens.

Gardening Matters seeks a Program Coordinator to support our Local Food Resource Hubs and Community Garden Sustainability work. The position will work closely with the Program Director and Executive Director on a small team of staff.

Job Responsibilities:


  • Organize seed distribution and  plant distribution events, with interns
  • Coordinate regular gatherings for Local Food Resource Hub members and the greater community to network and share knowledge and gardening-related resources
  • Develop and maintain relationships with neighborhood partners
  • Evaluate effectiveness of events and adjust systems as necessary


  • Deliver Community Garden Start-Up and Sustainability Workshops
  • Consult with gardeners and public institutions on community garden best practices


  • Recruit and coordinate volunteers to execute events and programs
  • Supervise interns and volunteers


  • Respond to inquiries from community members via phone and email and connect them to appropriate resources, people, or information
  • Present to groups and/or table at events to recruit Hub members and develop relationships with community partners
  • Work with partner organizations when appropriate on garden projects and advocacy issues
  • Manage Community Garden mini-grant program


  • Create print and electronic program materials as necessary
  • Create and update content to communicate effectively via e-newsletters, social media, print media, and our website


  • Revise, compile, and clean, community garden survey and data
  • Work with student researchers when appropriate to produce more relevant data
  • Ensure accurate data is reflected in CRM database, keep database up to date


  • Participate in relevant coalitions and networks to further Gardening Matters’ mission and to strengthen the food justice movement locally

Relevant Qualifications:

  • Highly skilled communicator with experience working with people from diverse backgrounds; Comfortable communicating in person, by phone, email, in front of groups, and to a variety of audiences
  • Passion for Gardening Matter’s mission and work; Dedication to working as a member of and in partnership with diverse communities
  • Demonstrated understanding of equity in food justice work
  • Experience in nonprofit and community-based organizations; community organizing experience preferred
  • Experience with knowledge-sharing and adult learning styles
  • Demonstrated competency supervising interns and volunteers
  • Strong organizational and project management skills, with excellent follow-through
  • Demonstrated ability to develop evaluation systems and oversee extensive tracking, documentation, & evaluation efforts
  • Proactive, self-learner with the ability to juggle multiple projects simultaneously
  • Experience in organic gardening/farming, nutrition, sustainability, and community food systems
  • Desire to encourage local community members to share ideas, talents and resources
  • Comfort in use of computers and technology on a daily basis; experience with database management
  • Visual design skills and website editing experience with Drupal preferred
  • Willingness to adapt to changing organizational conditions and extremely limited resources
  • Creativity, flexibility, resourcefulness and positive thinking
  • Knowledge of Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods preferred
  • Flexibility to work non-traditional hours, including evening and weekends as scheduled
  • Proficiency in Hmong, Spanish, or Somali desired


The position is full-time and pay rate will be based on experience.

Gardening Matters offers life and disability insurance, flexible work schedules, a fun work environment with an awesome community of partners, and professional development opportunities.  Our office is located in the Sabathani Center at 310 E. 38th St., Minneapolis, MN 55409. 

Applicants should submit:

  • A cover letter
  • Resume
  • Three references

  • You will receive brief email confirmation of your application within 48 hours of receipt.

Please send your application to, with “Program Coordinator Application” in subject header.  You can also email questions of clarification, or call the office at 612-821-2358. 

Gardening Matters is an equal opportunity employer.  Candidates of color are especially encouraged to apply.

Gardening Matters Announces New Executive Director


Greetings Friends,

On behalf of the board and staff of Gardening Matters, I am thrilled to announce the arrival of our new Executive Director, Susan Phillips, on Monday, August 25th!

Susan is a seasoned social-justice activist and educator, and a specialist in participatory processes and servant leadership. She has worked professionally with at-risk and homeless youth since the mid-1980s in Central America and the Twin Cities co-creating and managing innovative programs, and providing training on many aspects of youth development and the creation of healthy communities and workplaces.

Susan is passionate about the power of community gardening and urban agriculture to empower at-risk communities at the neighborhood scale and to address the widening opportunity gaps in our region as a whole. As she told our Search Committee: 

“I was a leader in the social service sector for 20 years, but found providing services and not working to change the conditions that led folks to be in need of assistance was becoming increasingly incongruent with my values. I wanted to be working in an environment that was grounded in justice and building community. I've been a backyard gardener my whole life and passionate about food justice. Gardening Matters is the intersection of many of my life passions and I'm super stoked to be here!”

Susan served most recently as Director of Lutheran Social Service Metro Homeless Youth Programs in St. Paul. She is a member of the Community Innovation Grants Committee of Headwaters Foundation, a mentor with the Wilder Youth Leadership Initiative and an Art of Hosting practitioner. Susan has a BA in Cultural Anthropology and a MA in Leadership Studies. When not engaged in community building projects, she is an avid gardener, student of life, and parent of three.

We are so fortunate to find someone of Susan’s authenticity, depth of experience and passion to engage the expanding community of urban growers in shaping our collective future. Please join us in welcoming her to Gardening Matters!

John Parker - Der Boghossian, Chair
Gardening Matters Board of Directors

Board of Directors Positions Opening

Gardening Matters is now recruiting for new members of our Board of Directors come this November.  

Board Position description below, and download the candidate application. Applications are due by September 30, 2014, and interviews take place in the first half of October. Questions on the application or board selection process should be directed to: John Parker, Board Chair or Susan Phillips, Executive Director, at 612-821-2357.

2014 Gardening Matters Board of Directors Position Description (download .pdf)


Knowledge and skills in one or more areas: nonprofit board governance, food justice with social concerns including diversity and equity, financial management, fundraising, legal matters, human resources, marketing, and/or public policy, plus topic mastery in one or more areas such as community gardening, nutrition, community food security, horticulture, composting or similar.

TERM:   Board Members serve for a two-year term and may serve up to four consecutive terms.  Term starts after voting at the Board’s Annual Meeting (late November). 


 · Regularly attend and participate in monthly meetings, currently held every fourth Thursday evening of the month from 6:30-8:30 PM.

· Commit to committee and/or task force projects established by the board to advance and support Gardening Matters’ strategic goals.

·  Participate in annual strategic goal evaluation and planning.

·  Help with major events such as the annual Resource Fair (March) and Community Garden Day (September).

·  Most Board members contribute 5-15 hours per month to Gardening Matters.

·  Annual financial contribution to Gardening Matters is not required, but we encourage Board members to support the organization financially in ways that are meaningful to them.

COMPENSATION:  Gardening Matters’ Board members serve on a volunteer basis.


1. Support and Assess the Organization's Mission and Purpose

The Board has determined that Gardening Matters defines and communicates the value of community gardens to the public, strengthens networking among community garden groups, improves internal functioning within community gardens, fosters partnerships between the gardening community and public and private sectors, and helps establish new community gardens. The board continuously reviews these purposes—with at minimum a formal review during annual strategic planning—to assure that they address current community needs.

2. Select and Supervise the Executive Director (ED)

The Board hires, supports, and supervises the organization’s executive director, ensuring the moral and professional support the ED needs to further the goals of the organization. The board establishes written annual goals for the ED, sets ED compensation and provides regular feedback on ED performance.

3. Ensure Effective Organizational Planning

As stewards of the organization, the board leads the staff and communities served in periodic strategic planning, from which programs are developed.

4. Ensure Adequate Resources

The board ensures adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission. The board works in partnership with the ED and development staff, if any, to raise funds from philanthropic, individual, business, and community donors, and to develop earned revenue streams.

5. Manage Resources Effectively

The board, in order to remain accountable to its donors, the public, and to safeguard its tax-exempt status, assists in developing the annual budget and ensuring that proper financial controls are in place to safeguard against misappropriation of assets.

6. Determine and Monitor the Organization's Programs and Services

The board determines which programs are the most consistent with an organization's mission, monitors their effectiveness, and provides staff with objective evaluation of programs. 

7. Enhance the Organization's Public Image

The board, individually and as a whole, clearly articulates the organization's mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public.

8. Assess Its Own Performance

The board creates annual performance benchmarks for its work and evaluates its achievements and performance on a monthly basis.


Syndicate content