Garden Rules and Regulations  

Updated 5-21-2013

Please read all sections --

Locations, Plots and Contacts

The Walter F. Lewis Community Garden is located on the site of Sunny Meadow Farm, next to 172 Robin Hill Rd, Chelmsford, MA.

The Community Garden at Sunny Meadow is comprised of three separate garden areas, namely A, B and C.

  • Garden A is located nearest the greenhouses. Garden A has 41 plots
  • Garden B is adjacent to Garden A and across from the garden shed. Garden B has 30 plots
  • Garden C is an elevated garden that is handicap accessible. It is also known as The St. Onge Accessible Garden. Garden C has 12 plots.

The Wotton St. Community Garden is located in North Chelmsford, off of Vinal Square. It is on the left side of Wotton St as you travel towards the river. This is defined as garden D. Garden D has 35 plots.

There is an annual rental charge for each plot. For fees, see section below.

Community Garden plots are available to any Chelmsford resident over age 18. Garden renters in good standing from the previous year have 1st choice on the same plot up until the annual Spring opening meeting. After that time, plots are assigned to those on the waiting list. Handicapped or elderly patrons have first choice on Garden C plots. After June 1st, unassigned plots in Garden C will be made available to anyone.

The Community Garden has two officers, namely, manager Phil Jones and secretary/treasurer Deb Jones. Both officers can be reached at Jones Farm at 246 Acton Road, Chelmsford, MA or by phone 978-256-8065.

The Community Garden and meadows were cleared, constructed and are maintained entirely by volunteers (Stewards) from Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship (COSS). Phil Stanway is the COSS lead Steward and Elliott Lea is the Community Garden Site Steward.


Garden Rental Fees are as follows: $50 annually for each full plot in Gardens A and B and D. Half plots may be available for $25 annually, if a renter can be found for the other half. Plots in Garden C are $20 annually.

Fees are due on or before the annual Spring Opening meeting, typically in January or February.

The Secretary/Treasurer will collect fees and assign plots. Fees are payable by check only and must be made out to Walter F. Lewis Community Garden/ Town of Chelmsford.

There will be no refunds issued once a plot assignment is made.

For plot availability and assignment see the Secretary/Treasurer.

Garden fees are used to maintain the water system, fencing, mowers, weedwackers and to offset fuel costs.

There are 5 free plots allocated for Non-Profit Organizations such as churches and pantries. See Secretary for availability.

Garden and Plot sizes

The Community Garden and adjacent meadows occupy approximately 1/3 of the 22 acre Sunny Meadow farm formerly owned by Walter F Lewis and purchased by the Town of Chelmsford in 2008.

All sizes listed below are approximate and not necessarily square. Please be sure to measure your allocated plot if making an accurate garden plan.

  • Garden A is divided into 41 plots which are 15' x 30' in size.
  • Garden B has 30 plots which are 13' x 34 1/2'.
  • Garden C has 12 plots which are 5' x 8'.
  • Garden D's plots vary in length and width but are around 500 sq. ft.


Garden Facilities

 The Community Garden will have:

  • water pumped to a holding tank.
  • water hoses
  • fenced garden areas A, B & D
  • some tools and watering cans. Tools include shovels, rakes, trowels and hoes.
  • Garden shed for storing tools (Sunny Meadow)
  • wheelbarrows stored next to garden shed (Sunny Meadow)
  • fresh finished compost for use in plots
  • a designated area for plant material/weeds that have been removed from garden plots for composting. This area is separate from the finished compost.
  • a porta-potty (Sunny Meadow)
  • picnic tables (Sunny Meadow)
  • a designated parking area
  • a rototiller available one day each spring for plot owners that wish to use it.
Rules and Regulations

Water for the Garden  Water is supplied from a local pond at Sunny Meadow and from ground water at Wotton St. It is pumped to storage tanks. Water will be available from early spring to late fall. A garden hose may be connected to the storage tank for watering. The water flow is gravity fed and therefore relatively low pressure. The water is NOT SAFE FOR DRINKING. Water is to be used ONLY for watering garden plots. Due to limited supply and high demand water is NOT to be used for bathing or for children to play in. Please do your part to conserve water. Be sure to shut off the hose when watering is completed. Do not leave running water unattended. Storage tanks are filled on an AS NEEDED basis. At Sunny Meadow there are additional water lines along the garden fencing which are pressurized when the pumps are on and can be used for watering at these times.  Please notify the site steward if any tank appears empty or if a leak is seen. Hoses are not to be removed from a garden area. Hoses should be left coiled up near the water tanks. Take care to not drag hoses over neighboring plots.      

Garden Gates: Make sure garden gates are kept closed except when entering/leaving. Gardens A, B & D are fenced areas (white boards with 3' chicken wire). Animals can only enter via the gates. Neither the Town of Chelmsford nor the Garden Manager is responsible for garden damage by animals or other felons.

Weed Control: Keep gardens neat and weed free. Weed control is crucial and requires a big effort. Gardeners with limited time or ability should consider gardening a ½ plot. The following weed controls have been approved by the manager: planting of clover, grass clippings, leaves, paper mulch, black plastic with holes, Mainely Mulch or equivalent and salt marsh hay. Regular hay and straw are not approved due to high weed seed content. All weeds and plant material that is to be discarded should be dug in or put in the designated place for composting.  Do not put weeds, plant materials, rocks, trash, watering cans, etc. in the walkways. Gardeners with plots that abut the white fencing should keep the fence area trimmed of weeds on both sides of the fence. Gardeners with plots that appear to be unkept will be notified by the Manager. Such plots can be tilled under and reassigned if not cleaned up within 1 week of such notification.

Trash Take all trash home with you. There is NO trash collection at the Gardens.

Dogs  are NOT allowed in the fenced garden areas.

Smoking is not allowed in the fenced garden areas. Tobacco can transmit a virus to crops.

Small children are to be supervised to prevent them from tramping on tender garden plants.

Garden Shed   The garden shed adjacent to the gate at Garden A is for garden tools. Tools are available for public use unless marked otherwise, such as with a person’s name. Such private tools are left at owner’s risk. Please return tools to the shed. Most tools in the shed have been donated. Additional donations are welcome.

Plot Planting  Plants should be contained such as to not allow them to overflow into walkways,  adjacent plots or climb on/under the white fences.  Be considerate of your neighbors. There will be NO plants that are invasive. These include mints and ground covers. There will be NO plants that are controlled, this includes hemp. Plants should be arranged such as to allow planting, weeding, watering and harvesting access without the gardener walking on adjacent plots. Tall plants such as corn should not shade plants on adjacent plots. Any plot that remains at least partially unplanted by June 10 will be considered to be abandoned and will be turned over to the manager for reassignment, pending notification to assigned gardener.

Organic Gardening The Community Garden is an organic garden. No chemical remedies or enhancers of any kind are to be used unless labeled organic. Organic products are recommended for use as fertilizers, fungicides and herbicides. Miracle Grow is not recommended. Organic products can be purchased nearby at Jones Farm and Agway.  Contact the manager/secretary for further recommendations or use of these products.

Infestation Any gardener that suspects an infestation of any kind should contact the manager for verification and treatment procedure.

Wheel barrows are available and are located next to the Garden Shed at Sunny Meadow. Please return and leave turned on side.

Walkways in Garden A, B and D are narrow to allow optimum space for planting. They should be kept clear of garden tools, buckets, watering cans and garden supplies. Plants, weeds and rocks removed from the garden plots are not to be placed in the walkways.  Walkways are frequently mowed by the steward. Hoses in walkways are allowed and should be kept to one side.  

Parking The tarmac parking lot at Sunny Meadow was built in 2011 and must be used by gardeners.  The entrance is on Robin Hill Rd and is marked by a large granite sign. Construction of a gravel driveway from the parking area to the gates of Garden A and B was completed in 2012. This driveway is only to be used for loading/unloading at the gardens.

Identifying Cards (ID) An ID card will be issued to all plot users. Whoever is tending the plot must carry this ID card and be able to present it if requested. If you see someone you do not recognize, ask them what plot they have and ask to see their ID card. This will help you to get to know your neighbors and to flush out a thief. Garden secretary will create/disperse ID cards.

Help If you are unable to tend your plot and will be absent for any length of time, ask a friend to tend it for you. Notify the Manager or steward if additional help is needed. The garden steward (Elliott) can be reached at 978-256-4629 or email at Volunteers are needed to help maintain the garden areas (please contact Phil Stanway or Elliott). Phil Stanway’s phone number is 978-273-1474.

Excess garden produce Gardens frequently produce more vegetables than the gardener can use. In such cases, please offer the excess to others, especially to those who are growing food for the needy. Try to not let such great produce go to waste.

End of Season chores The first heavy frost marks the end of the growing season. Following that frost, gardeners are responsible for cleaning up their plots. This includes removing ALL dead plant material to the compost pile then raking the plot to leave it ready for the following season. Loose items should be taken home as they may blow around during winter. Failure to clean up your plot will result in you losing the option to renew next season. Garden structures may remain if a cleaned-up plot is rented and paid for in advance for the next season.