May 15 Open House to Discuss New Citywide Urban Agriculture Program!

Urban Agriculture Program Open House

Community garden and urban agriculture supporters!

As you may recall, last year Supervisor David Chiu authored legislation, along with the San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance (SFUAA) and the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), that mandated the creation of the first citywide Urban Agriculture Program. SPUR had released a report, Public Harvest, that found that although we’ve seen community gardens and urban farms grow across the City in recent years, there was a notable lack of coordination among different agencies that govern urban agriculture. The new program created by the legislation is to serve as a “one-stop-shop” for urban agriculture, assist in the formation of new garden projects, provide resources and tools, and develop partnerships with community organizations.  The legislation also required that a strategic planning process take place during the fall of 2012.

The Office of the City Administrator was the lead City agency for this planning, and it has released the results of the strategic plan.  The City Administrator has recommended that the Recreation and Park Department (RPD) be the home for this new program for a number of reasons, including but not limited to (1)  it has Charter authority over its lands, meaning it can easily implement new and existing urban agriculture efforts, (2) it has properties throughout all of the City, assuring geographic equity in the program, (3) the Open Space Fund provides an ongoing, dedicated source of funding, (4) it has extensive experience partnering with community groups and advocacy nonprofits such as the Parks Alliance, and (4) its leadership has expressed a strong interest in the Urban Agriculture Program being housed there.  RPD has also proposed the creation of a new full-time staff person / volunteer coordinator who would be solely focused on the coordination and enhancement of the City’s urban agriculture activities.

Please click on this link to review the recommendation from the City Administrator’s Office to Supervisor Chiu’s office in its entirety: Urban Agriculture Program recommendation from CAO to Supervisor Chiu_Apr19_2013

Please click on this link to view the presentation made at the May 15 Open House: Urban Ag Open House Presentation_May 15_2013

RPD is currently sharing the strategic plan and ideas for the new Urban Agriculture Program at a number of public meetings.  To this end, along with Supervisor David Chiu and the Office of the City Administrator, RPD will be hosting an open house on Wednesday, May 15th from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Room 278 of City Hall.  This event will provide the urban agriculture community the opportunity to give us  feedback on the strategic plan and voice what you would like to see in the new Urban Agriculture Program.

After input and feedback from the community has been considered, Supervisor Chiu will introduce a resolution at the Board of Supervisors that will be followed by a public hearing (date TBD).

We look forward to your participation in this next phase of getting the Urban Agriculture Program off the ground!