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Community Garden Beds

Community Garden Beds Sub-license Agreement


The Sub-License Agreement Form text is provided below.  You will be asked to e-sign the form as the first step of the registration process.  After you submit the form, you will receive an email with the full text.

THIS COMMUNITY GARDEN SUB-LICENSE AGREEMENT, as dated below, by and between the NEEDHAM COMMUNITY FARM (NCF) with its principal place of business at 145 Pine Street, Needham Massachusetts and mailing address at PO Box 920877, Needham, MA 02492, as SUB-LICENSOR AND the LICENSEE of TOWN OF NEEDHAM, MASSACHUSETTS (‘the Town”, acting by and through its authorized agents and THE UNDERSIGNED (the “sub-Licensee” or “Gardener”),




WHEREAS, NCF is the Licensee of a certain parcel of land comprising more or less 3.2 acres at 145 Pine Street, Needham, commonly known as the former Nike Site described in Exhibit A (the “Premises”, see below); and 


WHEREAS, the Gardener desires to use a raised bed on a portion of the Premises devoted to community gardening activities; 


NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants contained herein, and the payment of other consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties hereby enter into a license agreement upon the terms and conditions set forth herein. 


1. Grant of Sub-license


a. NCF hereby grants to the Gardener a temporary, non-exclusive, revocable license to enter upon and use an assigned community garden bed on the Premises exclusively for the purposes described herein, subject to the terms and conditions set forth herein, including Exhibit A, the NCF Community Beds Waiver Form, and the NCF Community Beds Rules and Regulations.


b. NCF does not make any representation or warranty as to any matter affecting or relating to the Land or the Premises, including, but not limited to, the physical condition or suitability thereof for community gardening purpose. The Gardener acknowledges that no such representation or warranty has been made and agrees that this Agreement relates to the Premises in “as-is” condition as of the date of this Agreement. 


2. Term


The term of this Sub-License shall commence on January 1, 2024 and shall continue until December 31, 2024 or until the assigned plot is revoked. 


3. Permitted Use


The Gardener shall use the Premises solely as community garden bed in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, to the extent now permitted under applicable laws, bylaws, ordinances, codes, rules, regulations, orders and other lawful requirements of NCF or of the Town and Commonwealth. 


4. License Fees/Utilities


In consideration for this Sub-License, the Gardener agrees to pay the NCF the non-refundable Fee of $100.00 (Needham, MA resident) / $125.00  (Non-Needham, MA resident)


5. Indemnification


The execution of this Sub-License shall constitute the Gardener’s acceptance of complete liability for the actions or omissions of him/her/them, his/her/their guests and agents while present at the Premises in connection with the use, upkeep and maintenance of the his/her/their gardening bed. Prior to being allowed to enter the Community Garden area, the Gardener on behalf of himself, herself, or themselves and his, her or their guests and agents who enter the Premises shall sign a NCF Community Beds Waiver Form, waiving any and all rights and claims against NCF or the Town for any injury suffered on at the Community Garden. 


The Sub-Licensee shall, to the maximum extent permitted by law, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless NCF and the Town and their officers, employees, agents and volunteers from and against any and all damages, liabilities, actions, suits, proceedings, claims, demands, losses, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) whatsoever arising from, related to or in connection with this Sub-License or the Gardener’s use of the Community Garden and assigned bed. 


The Gardener further expressly agrees not to make any claims against the NCF and the Town and their officers, employees and agents for any injury, loss or damage to person (including bodily injury and death) or property arising out of or in connection with the activities undertaken or omissions to act by the Sub-Licensee, or guests, as hereby licensed. 


6. Conduct 


a. Entry to the Community Garden and use of the assigned bed under this Sub-License by the Gardener and his, her or their guests and agents, shall, at all times, be subject to review by duly designated representatives of NCF and the Town. 


b. During the use of the Community Garden and assigned bed, the Gardener shall at all times conduct himself, herself or themselves so as not to interfere with activities of NCF or the Town or other gardeners. 


c. NCF and the Town shall have the right, at all reasonable times, to enter onto and inspect the Gardener’s assigned raised bed. 


d. The Gardener shall observe and obey all applicable laws, statutes, ordinances, regulations and permitting or license requirements including NCF’s current Rules and Regulations. NCF reserves the right to amend or modify the Rules and Regulations and will promptly give Gardener notice of any such amendments or modifications by email.  


e. The Gardener shall not undertake any construction, reconstruction, modification, rehabilitation or refurbishment of the assigned bed without having received the written approval of NCF or its authorized representative. 


f. In connection with the use of the assigned gardening bed, the Gardener will use his/her/their reasonable best efforts to comply with the agricultural practices and procedures set forth in the NCF Community Beds Rules and Regulations, attached. 


7. Termination


This Sub-License can be terminated in accordance with the Rules and Regulations, and in the event of termination, the Gardener shall forfeit any right or claim for a return of the License Fee. 


Upon any termination of this License Agreement, Gardener shall promptly return the assigned bed to the same or better condition than it was in prior to commencement of this Sub-License Agreement, reasonable wear and tear excepted, and shall remove any item(s) of property left or placed in or on the Community Garden or assigned bed by Gardener. 


8. No Interest, Legal or Equitable, in the Community Garden


This Agreement does not grant Gardener, his, her or their heirs, successors, assigns or transferees any interest, legal or equitable, in the Community Garden, assigned bed or the Land, and this Agreement shall become null and void and without legal effect if it is recorded in any registry of deeds or any land registration office. 


9. Sub-License is Not Transferable 


Any modification or amendment to this Sub-License must be in writing. This Sub-License is not transferable and no rights or privileges contained herein may be sublet or assigned to any other person or organization without the express written consent of NCF. 


10. Provisions Survive Termination or Revocation of License

All appropriate terms and provisions hereof shall survive the termination or revocation of this License. 


IN WITNESS HEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Community Garden Sub-License Agreement to be executed this day and year first written above. 



By its authorized agent

Susan Shaver, President, Date: February 1, 2024 



__________________________ Date: _________________ 


One 4 foot by 12 foot gardening bed, the location of which will be assigned on the initial bed assignment date or on a date thereafter, along with the privilege to use the Community Garden’s common area, water, communal tools, and the communal shed, subject to the NCF Community Beds Rules & Regulations.

Community Garden Beds - Rules and Regulations

The Rules and Regulations Agreement Form text is provided below.  You will be asked to e-sign the form as the second step of the registration process.  After you submit the form, you will receive an email with the full text. 

Thank you for reviewing this document. Adherence to the rules and regulations outlined below ensures that our entire gardening bed community can enjoy an orderly, safe and productive recreational space.

General Obligations and Restrictions:

  1. Gardeners-in-good standing are those individuals who have been assigned a plot by the Needham Community Farm and have signed the Sub-License agreement, paid their garden fee in full and abide by the Needham Community Garden Beds Rules and Regulations and the Sub-License Agreement.

  2. Gardeners must be residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

  3. Gardeners must ensure that their contact information is current. Contact information must include name, address, phone number, email address and emergency contact information. Community Garden Bed assignments will be sent out by email.

  4. Gardeners must park in designated parking areas.

  5. Gardeners may not assign or otherwise transfer rights to use a raised bed or any portion of the raised bed to others. Gardeners are responsible for the behavior of any person or persons assisting them with any gardening chores.

  6. Gardeners should be respectful of fellow gardeners and may not play music at high volume or smoke any tobacco products or cannabis products while at NCF. Alcoholic beverages may not be brought to or consumed at the Community Beds. Gardeners may bring snacks and non-alcoholic beverages and are responsible for removing and disposing of all litter.

  7. Dogs are not allowed in the Community Garden area.

  8. The tools and materials available in the communal shed are for every gardener’s use. Tools should be used safely and for their intended purposes. Please return all communal tools and materials to the shed after you are finished with them. Also, gardeners are responsible for recoiling hoses after use.

  9. Please report any URGENT maintenance concerns, reports of broken or damaged tools, water leaks and other infrastructure problems to Please report any other concerns or problems to For non-urgent matters, please allow 5 days for a reply from NCF staff.

  10. For your safety and the protection of the growing beds, the gates should be locked at all times.

  11. Please note that the fee paid to NCF at the time of registration for a    Community Garden Bed ($100 for resident, $125 for non-resident), is NON-REFUNDABLE.

  12. Removal of fruits, vegetables, or equipment from a plot that you do not license, without the explicit permission of the licensee, is prohibited and may lead to the revocation of the garden Sub-License.  Any communal herb or flower beds are exempt from this regulation.

Planting Restrictions:

  1. To protect the Town’s water supply and the health of fellow Gardeners, the use of any non-organic chemicals including fertilizers, weed killers (herbicides), pesticides, and fungicides is prohibited. All fertilizers, amendments, pesticides and fungicides must be OMRI approved or approved by another organic products certifying organization. If you have any questions whether a particular product is OMRI approved, please refer to the Organic Materials Review Institute website

  2. Please ensure that your bed is relatively weed free so that weeds do not spread to other beds. Gardeners are also encouraged to help remove invasive plant species from the Community Garden Beds area. A list of invasive plants can be found online HERE. Examples of invasive plantings that should be removed from Garden plot include: Garlic mustard, Tree of Heaven, Black Swallow-wort, and Japanese Knotweed.

  3. Dumping or “storing” of any non-Garden related material in or outside the Garden plot is prohibited. All agricultural waste shall be placed in designated areas.

  4. Plants must remain within the perimeter of each bed and should not interfere with the communal paths. Brambles such as raspberries, blackberries, or similar plants are not allowed in beds.

  5. Although the Community Garden Beds are primarily intended for annual fruits and vegetables, perennials may also be planted at your own risk; of note, individual plots are not owned, but are lent to each Gardener year to year and a Gardener may not be assured of the same plot from year to year.

  6. Tall plants that shade or encroach on neighboring plots or common walkways are not permitted.  Please limit your seed variety selection to plants that are a maximum of 6 feet tall to avoid shading.  Plants that exceed 6 feet tall are subject to removal (with prior warning) to avoid shading neighbor’s beds.

  7. Growing cannabis is not permitted. 

Structures / Furnishings:

  1. No permanent fixtures may be installed in a plot.  No holes may be made in the wooden bed frames for screws or any other attachment devices.

  2. Bee Keeping is not permitted. As part of its agricultural program, in coordination with a beekeeper, hives are maintained within the area under cultivation by NCF. 



  1. Gardeners should tend their plantings throughout the season by trimming, thinning, and harvesting as needed to keep the garden productive. If a gardener is going to be on vacation, they should make arrangements for somebody to tend to their bed and advise [the general email] about doing so, including the name and email of anybody so designated.

  2. Gardeners are required to clear weeds and to keep the aisles and paths surrounding their bed free and clean of weeds, trash and other materials to ensure that the common paths are passable by others.

  3. Gardeners must ensure that the garden area is neatly maintained out of respect for neighbors. Personally-owned tools and other garden related items may be stored, at the owner’s risk, within the bed, if they are arranged neatly and safely. At the end of the season, Gardeners must clear their plots of dead plants, decorations and all furnishings. Gardeners must remove weed control fabrics.

  4. Diseased plants should be placed in a plastic bag, removed from the property and disposed of as trash at the appropriate Transfer Station.

  5. Plant material generated from active gardening should only be disposed of at the designated compost sites at the Garden or the Gardener’s Transfer Station composting area. Gardeners should not dispose weeds or other plants to the common areas or walkways.

  6. Municipal water will be provided and subject to any water restrictions or bans as required by the Town of Needham. Please conserve water when and where possible.

  7. Only hand watering is permitted.  The use of timers is not allowed, other than timers installed by NCF.

  8. Water in uncovered containers or any standing water, including bird baths, is not permitted for health reasons. 

Plot Assignment, Revocation and Appeal Process:

  1. Renewal notifications will be sent out during the late fall.  Renewal registrations must be received by the end of the calendar year. Renewing Gardeners may request to keep the same bed or to be assigned a different bed.

  2. Gardeners must be residents of Massachusetts, and preference will be given to residents of Needham when assigning garden beds.

  3. Each January, notification to the general public will be made for new enrollment for available gardening beds. Thereafter, new applicants will be notified, on a rolling basis, about the assignment of a gardening bed. Applications will be processed in the order they are received.

  4. Only one plot will be issued per household and is intended to grow vegetables and fruits for personal and family use. A non-refundable annual fee is assessed to cover maintenance expenses. For returning Gardeners, the annual fee is due 2 weeks after notification, and any plot with an unpaid fee will become available.

  5. Fifteen gardening beds are available free of charge to residents of Needham Housing Authority properties or are SNAP eligible. Evidence of residence or Snap eligibility will be required. In addition, 15 beds are 40” high in order to accommodate those with accessibility issues.

  6. If a plot becomes available, existing Gardeners in good standing will have the option to switch plots prior to plots being assigned to the general waiting list. If more than one existing gardener would like the plot, the plot will be assigned by lottery.

  7. At the start of the season, if there is no clear evidence of active gardening by June 1st, the Gardener will be contacted and given two weeks to respond. If no response is received, the plot will be considered abandoned.

  8. A Gardener will be notified by email and regular mail of non-compliance with the Community Garden Beds Rules and Regulations and will be given a one week notice to respond to the situation. The Gardener is responsible for contacting NCF’s designated representative to discuss the violation. If no improvement occurs, then the NCF’s President or Vice President may revoke the garden Sub-License.

  9. If a Garden is revoked for any reason, a Gardener may appeal the determination to the NCF Board. The appeal request must be received by the NCF’s Clerk within one week of the revocation. The decision of the NCF Board is final.

  10. If a Garden is revoked, the Gardener will have one week to remove any personal items from the plot, after which the items will be removed/discarded.

  11. In case of a hardship that may temporarily prevent a Gardener from addressing non-compliance issues, such as an extended vacation, illness, or other unplanned emergency, the Gardener must notify NCF’s designee and consideration will be given to the nature and extent of the requested accommodation. The maximum of such an accommodation period is one growing season and may require the gardener to take steps to maintain the bed during this period.

Community Garden Beds - Waiver Language

The Waiver Form text is provided below.  You will be asked to e-sign the form as the third step of the registration process.  After you submit the form, you will receive an email with the full text.


THE UNDERSIGNED, in consideration of the Needham Community Farm, Inc. allowing my use of the of a community gardening bed located at the Needham Community Farm, 145 Pine Street, Needham, Massachusetts for community garden purposes agree as follows:  

I, my heirs, personal representatives, next of kin, estate, administrators and assignees (the “Releasors”) hereby certify that I have full knowledge of the nature and extent of risks inherent in my use of the community garden and assigned community garden bed and I understand that I will be solely responsible for any loss or damage, including death, which any person may sustain or cause, to any myself, to any of my property or any other person or property as the result of my activities. By this agreement, Releasor/Gardener is relieving the Town of Needham, owner of the Premises, Needham Community Farm, and all of their employees, agents, and board members (the “Releasees”) of any and all liability for such loss or damage.

The Releasor/Gardener agrees to forever release the Releasees from any and all claims, rights of action and causes of action that may have arisen in the past, or may arise in the future, directly or indirectly, from my use of the Premises. The Releasor/Gardener also promise to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Releasees against any and all legal claims and proceedings of any description that may have been asserted in the past, or may be asserted in the future, directly or indirectly arising from (a) personal injuries to myself or to other person(s); or (b) real or personal property damage resulting from my use of the Garden.

The names of family members under age 18 who will be coming to the NCF Community Beds and covered by this Waiver:


Names of Family Members under age 18 who will be coming to the NCF Community Beds and covered by this Waiver



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