Policy Support for Urban Growers

 

ACCESS TO LAND AND URBAN AGRICULTURE POLICY

Keep Growing Detroit is committed to engaging the City of Detroit to find ways to help residents establish and maintain successful urban agriculture projects. In addition to meeting regularly with city leadership, our staff serves on both the Detroit Urban Agriculture Workgroup and Detroit Food Policy Council. One of the most important and challenging elements for gardeners to navigate is identifying and securing access to the land they plan to grow on. Because we know that this will mean something different for each of the unique garden projects in the city, KGD hosts workshops, shares educational materials, and provides one-on-one technical assistance to Garden Resource Program members related to the process of becoming land secure.

NAVIGATING LAND ACCESS FOR GARDENS

Land security is a major topic of concern for many gardeners. Nearly 40% of community and market gardens in the GRP are growing on land they do not own. For many gardeners this restricts and limits opportunities for maximizing the community and economic development potential of their garden. Having some level of legal permission to use the land you’re gardening on allows you to leverage (and protect) resources, build lasting community change, and establish businesses.

For many projects, a written agreement between the property owner and the garden organizers or a Garden Permit from the City of Detroit is adequate protection. For growers embarking on projects with goals of long-term impact and investment, land security through long-term leases or ownership is vital. Without land security, growers are at risk for losing their investments and may also find themselves ineligible for grants, loans,
and other opportunities.

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