Have you ever looked at a vacant lot, an expanse of grass around a school or municipal building, or an under-used area of a park and thought, "Food could be grown there."? Using public land to grow food can bring a host of benefits to a community beyond the harvest itself, including increased civic participation, better nutritional knowledge, job skills training, and neighborhood greening. If you're interested in exploring the possibilities, Dig, Eat, and Be Healthy: A Guide to Growing Food on Public Property will guide you through the steps you need to take to make this a reality.
Put together by ChangeLab Solutions, a non-profit organization that works to provide community-based solutions to America's health problems, this downloadable publication provides the tools needed to access public land for food production. It includes information on identifying urban agricultural sites, working with public agencies to develop community partnerships, and crafting appropriate agreements. There is a section on developing urban agricultural opportunities on public school properties and suggestions for ways to use community garden harvests in school cafeterias. Also included are sample agreements from actual urban agricultural projects on public land.
To download Dig, Eat, and Be Healthy and get more information about Change Lab Solutions' other publications related to community health issues, go to ChangeLab Solutions.