COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update
It will be a different growing season this year.

The garden is closed to the public (which includes Front Garden Key Holders) until further notice. Key sales are temporarily suspended as well.

Back garden members should enter only to carry out absolutely necessary maintenance.

Access to GreenThumb Community Gardens on NYC Parks Property
updated 5/29/2020


Gardens on NYC Parks property are closed to the public, and open to garden members only for absolutely necessary maintenance and season preparation activities.   

At GreenThumb, the health and safety of the public and our partners is always our top concern. In compliance with Governor Cuomo’s executive order, effective immediately and until further notice community gardens on NYC Parks property may remain open or closed to garden members only at the discretion of each garden group, and only for absolutely necessary maintenance and gardening activities. Necessary maintenance that follows social distancing protocols includes:

  • Cleaning up debris and weeds inside and outside of the garden
  • Building and filling raised beds (no other construction activities are permitted)
  • Planting work by individual members
  • Watering and maintaining plants

Due to the relatively small spaces in most gardens and the difficulty in achieving safe social distancing of 6 feet or more, gardens must remain closed to the general public. We realize that this will be disappointing to some, but it is necessary to help protect public health. Below are details and requirements to guide garden groups, which remain in effect until further notice:

  • Garden Group Meetings:
    New York City has begun Phase 1 of reopening. Community gardens remain closed to the general public and open to garden members only for absolutely necessary maintenance and gardening season activities. Garden groups may now host in-person meetings at the garden, but social distancing and face covering protocols must still be followed. These garden meetings must be critcal to discuss the management of the group and space. All other gatherings, including workshops, social gatherings, volunteer projects, and events are still not permitted due to COVID-19. Gardens serving as pick-up locations for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, may continue to serve as pick-up locations for members of the general public. Prepared meals and processed foods may not be distributed at gardens. 
  • Garden Access: Access must be limited to garden members only, and only for garden maintenance and season preparation that is absolutely necessary.  Gardens must remain closed to the public until further notice, and gardeners should keep garden gates closed while working in gardens.     
  • Events and Gatherings: All public events in community gardens on NYC Parks property are prohibited. In addition, all in-person meetings, activities, and gatherings of garden groups are prohibited, and we encourage you to host these virtually (learn more with our Resources for Remote Information Sharing & Group Work). Large projects that require many hands must be postponed. 
  • Social Distancing: Gardeners working in gardens must observe safe social distancing by keeping at 6 feet between all people at all times. Social distancing applies even if a face covering is used. 
  • Staggering Access: Garden groups must make best efforts to stagger access to gardens to minimize the number of members inside at the same time.
  • Disinfecting Surfaces: Gardeners should regularly disinfect all shared tools and spaces. Disinfection guidelines can be found on the CDC website.
  • Review Current COVID-19 Information: Gardeners should review current information and guidelines on COVID-19 on the CDC and DOHMH webpage, especially with regard to populations at risk.
  • Garden Membership: Garden Groups can continue to accept new members, at their discretion, if they believe that they can orient new members in accordance with all applicable requirements.

Please visit the GreenThumb website to stay informed of any changes as things continue to evolve. GreenThumb shares your disappointment in reducing access to community gardens, especially during a crisis, but it is imperative that we all work together to help protect public health and keep our fellow New Yorkers safe. 


 anthony.reuter@parks.nyc.gov