The City of Minneapolis recently approved new rules for leasing City-owned vacant lots for gardens. Now, 43 more City-owned parcels will be available for gardeners to lease in 2016, for more than 100 total. Eligible leaseholders will now also include urban farmers and market gardeners in addition to community gardeners. Other changes to the rules include:
* Leases that could be extended to three- or five-year terms.
* Insurance liability requirement decreased by $1 million for community gardens.
* Lease agreements that require pollinator-friendly practices.
Thank you to all gardeners who called to advocate for these important changes. Additional information will be provided shortly on the Homegrown Minneapolis website regarding application process and timeframe for 2016 community garden and market garden leases. View details of new policy.
Unfortunately, the option to purchase a vacant lot for urban agriculture purposes was not approved. Gardening Matters will continue to advocate for opportunities for land ownership, as ownership is critical, particularly in communities who have a history of disenfranchisement.
The City of St. Paul is poised to pass a strong resolution to protect pollinators and encourage more natural pest and weed control on city-owned property. City staff presented the resolution at the December St. Paul-Ramsey County Food and Nutrition Commission meeting, where it was unanimously supported. City staff hopes to place the resolution on the council's agenda for vote before the new year!