Cultivating Vibrant & Resilient Communities, One Garden at a Time


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Speaker: Jillian
Session: Exploring the Role of Municipalities in Community Food Growing

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Cultivating Vibrant & Resilient Communities, One Garden at a Time

  1. 1. Cultivating Vibrant & Resilient Communities, One Garden at a Time
  2. 2. The PCGN is a collaboration between four main partner organizations: This unique concept allows us to use our time, energy and resources efficiently, share expertise, reduce duplication, and strengthen our ability to offer programs and support a wider range of community members Each partner has a representative on our management committee. They collectively define the direction of the organization, oversee fundraising strategies & core staff The PCGN has collaborated with the City of Peterborough to create and enact the Community Garden Policy and to establish community gardens on municipal properties locally.
  3. 3. Vision Statement: “Building Resilient & Vibrant Communities One Garden at a Time”
  4. 4. Statements of Purpose: “To foster community gardens through education, advocacy, and networking to increase access to local sustainable food.”
  5. 5. We envision community gardens as a key tool for food security, ecological integrity and community building
  6. 6. Core Objectives: • Advocate for, promote and support the development of new and existing community gardens throughout the County and City of Peterborough. • To be a central hub and contact point for community gardens and gardeners. • To develop and provide educational opportunities & resources • To facilitate, build partnerships and connections.
  7. 7. City of Peterborough Community Garden Policy History: February 2009: - In response to a growing number of requests for community gardens on City owned or controlled land and the PCGN’s ever growing waiting list for existing community gardens, City’s Corporate Policy Coordinator assembled a working group (Public Works, Planning, Recreation, Legal, Housing, and Social Services) to draft Community Gardens Policy. April 7, 2009: - Working group hosted a community gardens consultation, with community gardeners; Peterborough County-City Health Unit; Trent University; Fleming College; GreenUP; YWCA; Local Food Advocates; and the PCGN to determine an inventory existing community garden operations, benefits of community gardens, local demand, potential locations, and what role the City, and the PCGN should play, as well as looking at what other partners could get involved.
  8. 8. February 18, 2010: Draft policy was presented to the Community Garden Network, as a final opportunity to provide feedback to the working group. March 16, 2010: - Draft policy was presented to the Arenas Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (APRAC) through Report APRAC10-012. As requested in the report, APRAC provided input regarding the draft policy. APRAC is supportive of this policy being approved by Council, prior to the start of the 2010 gardening season.
  9. 9. City of Peterborough Community Gardens Policy POLICY: COMMUNITY GARDENS Policy Type: Department: Division: Section/Facility: Municipal Services Community Services Recreation Effective Date: 2010-04-12 Approval Level: Council Policy #: 0023 Revision #: N/A 1.1 The City of Peterborough values and supports sustainable community gardens because they contribute to: economical, nutritious, and local food production; an appropriate use of open space; health and well-being; fitness and recreation; positive social interaction; strong neighbourhoods; environmental education; and increased self-reliance. 1.2 This policy provides direction to establish and operate community gardens on City-owned or managed land. 2.0 APPLICATION 2.1 This policy and related procedures applies to the City and to individuals and groups who establish, operate, administer, oversee, approve, or conduct community gardening activities on City owned or managed land. 2.2 Community Services Department develops and approves the necessary City procedures to implement this policy, in consultation with other City Departments. 2.3 This policy only applies to community gardening and does not apply to other forms of urban agriculture such as the breeding and raising of livestock and poultry.
  10. 10. Community Garden - A site that is operated by an individual or group, on a non-profit basis, for one or more of the following purposes: 1. production of produce for: - personal use; - donation to local food causes; or - generating revenue to reinvest in the Community Garden. 2. production of a floral or landscape display; or 3. demonstration gardening or other related instructional programming. 4.0 POLICY STATEMENT(S) 4.1 The City shall demonstrate its support for community gardens by: .1 Promoting community garden initiatives and participating as a stakeholder with community partners. .2 Encouraging the use of community gardens for related instructional programming and to support local food production. .3 Assisting new community gardens with start-up activities, as determined by the City's selection process and subject to available funding. .4 Incorporating community gardens in municipal land use planning of new development areas and established parkland. .5 Compiling and maintaining an inventory of potential sites for community gardens.
  11. 11. 4.2 Community gardens are to be operated in a safe and fair manner in a way that enhances neighbourhoods, therefore the City requires: .1 That neighbours be consulted through a public process before a new community garden is established. .2 Fair, equitable, and transparent processes for the operation of community gardens. .3 A Licence Agreement. .4 That each Operator establish and comply with a Terms of Reference. .5 That each Operator maintain and enforce Plot Holder Agreements and Liability Waivers, which shall be signed by Plot Holders and Operators. .6 That the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act are met by the Operator.
  12. 12. Roles & Responsibilities: City of Peterborough - Provides land for community garden - Assess long-term use of land/ any conflicts in future - Prepares land & provides compost - Accepts applications & accompanying paperwork - Provides insurance for the property Peterborough Community Garden Network - Acts as liaison between community gardeners and City staff – main point of contact for community - Provides support in creation of community garden group and garden planning - Supports garden group in writing Garden Application, Gardener Agreements, liability waivers, and all other associated paperwork identified in Section 4.1 of the Policy. - Facilitate community consultation and insures that all residents receive
  13. 13. How does the City support Community Gardens? - Staff support to create a list of potential sites for community gardens throughout the City & County. - PCGN presents proposed sites to City through a Community Garden Application, the City sends proposal out to various departments to ensure that the land is not slated to be used for development or other projects in the coming years. - Invites community members, and participate Community Consultation. - Once approval process has been completed, the City will prepare the site (plough), and add in City compost. - They City supports community gardens financially through the City of Peterborough Community Project Grant program (gardens can apply for up to $1000 for tools, trellising, signage, sheds, ect) -
  14. 14. Policy in Action: - Since it’s inaction in 2010, the Policy has been utilized to establish two new community gardens ( Cameron St., Stewart St.). This has created 40 new community garden plots within the City. - The City of Peterborough has continued to support existing gardens through the donations of compost, and funding through the City of Peterborough Community Project Grants.
  15. 15. Cameron St. Community Garden • • • • Established Spring 2012 In City park, adjacent to community housing. Established 20 new garden plots for community members. Group grows collaboratively for themselves, and distributes food informally through the neighbourhood & through communities food bank as well.
  16. 16. Stewart St. Community Garden - Established in 2013 - 14 plots for community members. - City of Peterborough provided land & prepared the soil, cleaned up trees & park. - Very successful first season, partnerships built with local church, Canadian Tire, Horticultural society, sign-makers & fire dept.
  17. 17. Challenges: The Story of the Bonaccord Community Garden      Established on City property prior to establishment of City Community Garden Policy. Coordinator had been paying for many things out of his own pocket. Expanded in 2012/13 to include 20 new plots. City has provided donations of compost, and removed brush to help the garden get cleaned up and create space for new plots. Neighbour has provided water, along with creative rain barrel systems. Water metering & expanded number of plots increases pressure on existing water system.
  18. 18. Challenges: - Water! The municipality does not provide water, water taps or financial support in getting water systems installed with the establishment of new, or in support of existing community gardens on municipal property. - Recent additions of water meters have added to water challenges (neighbours provided water) - Funding – Although $10,000 was allocated in the 2009 budget line when the Community Garden Policy was originally passed, the funds have since be removed, and are now set at $0. - Reliance on support of PCGN to deliver programming, but no accompanying financial support.
  19. 19. Lessons Learned: - Informal supports and collaborations have emerged – connections to local Fire Department, informal support from City workers (water main improvements) - Strength in collaborations
  20. 20. Opportunities: Official City Plan – In many consultations, Peterborough residents identified a clear desire to implement more space for community gardens & urban age. c) Promote community gardens by: i. Allocate accessibile space for community gardens. ii. Market and build awareness of the benefits of community gardens iii. Allowing city lands to be used for community gardens. For example - consider how parks planning could allocate a portion of public parks for urban agriculture purposes. This could avoid permitting community gardens which are leading to opposition.