Encouraging community gardening and greening is at the core of ACGA’s mission. We advocate at all levels of government and society to help community gardens flourish across North America. Below you will find information about the various ways that ACGA actively works on issues of advocacy, and the various local initiatives that we are following across the continent.
The ACGA Advocacy Committee
The ACGA Advocacy Committee is open to all members. The committee keeps up with current national and local community garden and urban agriculture policy issues, and recommends action for ACGA and its members. To join the committee, contact committee chair Sandy Pernitz.
Report from the Public Policy, Advocacy, and Research Committee
We are planning to put an increased emphasis on this committee in the coming year in hopes of providing great advocacy tools for our members. The following is a brief action plan that the committee has developed. We will also be reaching out to members as well as non-members doing urban agriculture work (of which community gardening is a part) to get a greater understanding of what is happening in your communities. Sharing what is and is not working has always been one of the strengths of the community gardening movement.
Our short term goal is to: (a) Work on surveying communities about what has been most successful in getting support for community gardening in their cities and those policies that hinder the establishment of community gardens and (b) start work on the development of a toolkit focusing on strategies to gain governmental/political/community support in your community. This toolkit would include municipal policy that helps or hinders the establishment of community gardens and other urban agricultural activities. (c) Plant a strong research section on the website.
Mid-term goal is to: Build off of the work being done in Cleveland, OH and the federal congressional support and build a connection to: (a)Talk with their congresswoman about identifying possible federal money already present that could be channeled to ACGA for use with on-going trainings in the community.
Long-term goal is to: (a) complete advocacy toolkit, (b) Work on bringing back a form of the Federal “23 city urban gardening program” through the Dept. of Agriculture that is administered through local University Extension. This program helps train folks to grow their own food and run community gardens in their own cities and draft legislation in support goal ‘b’.
This work is never a one way street we encourage all members to help us with ideas, feedback, support and criticism at all stages of our goals. Contact me anytime: Sandy.Pernitz@seattle.gov
Community Gardens face impermanence due to a variety of factors such as the length of your lease, your city’s interests in the land for alternative uses, etc. Vigilance is required to keep a community garden permanent. Refer to the two documents below for help in understanding how to keep your garden safe.
As an added benefit of membership in ACGA, you may also receive a letter of support from us that you may use in persuading your local community to protect your interests. See “Take Action” for further information.)
Community Garden Local Legal Initiatives
Below are links to resolutions, draft legislation, zoning, and city plan language from a number of cities in the United States and Canada.
5-year strategic plan for expansion of community gardens
Community garden zoning
- Portland, OR
Diggable City Plan
Some other information from British Columbia municipalities – a very progressive place.
- Community Food Security Coalition’s Federal Policy Advocacy Handbook
- Comprehensive Plans, Zoning Regulations, Open Space Policies & Goals Concerning Community Gardens & Open Green Space from Cities of Seattle, Berkeley, Boston, & Chicago, Lenny Librizzi, Council on the Environment of NYC
- Municipal Research & Services Center of Washington community garden resources
- Drake University
State food policy council resources