Issuu on Google+

July 2013 Gardeners & City of Lawrence find “Common Ground� By Eileen Horn, Sustainability Coordinator, Douglas County & City of Lawrence In the fall of 2011, conditions were ripe for establishing a community gardening and urban agriculture program in the city of Lawrence: The Douglas County Food Policy Council had just completed their food system report which showed that 10,000 Lawrence residents lack access to healthy foods. Bob Schumm, an avid gardener had just been appointed Mayor. And there was a community-wide interest in increasing access to healthier, locally-grown foods. The Common Ground Program was born. The Common Ground Program is a community gardening and urban agriculture program created by the city to transform vacant or under-utilized properties into vibrant city sites of healthy food production for our citizens. properties, The City surveyed its picked the ones appropriate for food production, and then made them available for license to city residents. Through an annual application process, residents can propose their ideas for creating a community garden, orchard, or farm on the site. In addition to increasing the availability of fresh, healthy produce in our city’s neighborhoods, these gardens have impacts far beyond their boundaries. In exchange for receiving a free license for use of city property, each grower/applicant creates a Community Benefit Plan for their project. These have resulted in 550 lbs of produce donated to local food pantries, field trips for student groups, and community gardening class topics from compost to tree pruning. KU Center for Sustainability Page 1 1

Sustainability Spotlight - July 2013

Related publications