Monday, January 12, 2009

Cincinnati Farm program could be in place by spring

A pilot Cincinnati Farm program could be in place by spring, with 123 parcels recommended for further study.

These 123 parcels will be narrowed down to between 5 and 10 to participate in the pilot, which will then be leased to end users for neighborhood gardens at nominal cost.

In a report to council, city manager Milton Dohoney Jr. recommends forwarding the list of parcels to controlling agencies to determine if they're needed, then holding meetings with the Law Department, the Office of Environmental Quality, and other City departments to determine management criteria and logistics.

A public meeting will likely be held later this month to gauge interest.

Following the meetings, the City would name a coordinating agency to run the program and draft a specific policy to guide it.

Soil tests will be performed on the selected sites to check for contaminants before any agreements are signed.

In October, vice mayor David Crowley introduced the proposal in a council motion as a way to put hundreds of vacant City-owned properties to productive use.

Cincinnati staff used GIS technology to screen over 18,000 City-owned parcels, selecting only properties at least 0.2 acres in size with low tree canopy cover and less than 30 percent slope.

Previous reading on BC:
Crowley: Make vacant City parcels available for farms, gardens (10/30/08)


Anonymous said... neighborhood is on there and of course, NO ONE from the City checked with our neighborhood for recommended sites and of course the site they DID select (without our input) is a site we selected as a park area for children.
More examples of the disconnect between the City and the neighborhoods.

Kevin LeMaster said...

NO sites have been selected, only identified. There WILL be discussions between City staff and the neighborhoods before any of the pilot sites are chosen.'s not so bad!

VisuaLingual said...

Wow, this is great.

David said...

The report has not yet been presented to the finance committee. There is still a lot political will which needs to be built among more conservative council members.
Watch for news of the next meeting and please attend to voice your support!
This would be a great pilot program to show the benefits of agriculture to urban neighborhoods.

Randy Simes said...

I hate hearing it called a farm program. Gardens I'm cool with, but the whole urban farm thing just rubs me the wrong way.

Quim said...

Taxpayers are paying $40k so they can pay again to use the land ?
The farm designation is probably because a lot of people thought "gardens" meant pretty flowers.

NORTON said...

Another GREAT proposal by Crowley...does anyone else notice this guy pumping out impressive ideas for the city? ...suggested a prohibition on the city's purchase of incandescent light bulbs, in favor of newer energy-efficient bulbs, said the city should have more say in where and how hazardous material is shipped, back in 2003 introduced a resolution to oppose the pending US war in Iraq, strong advocate for hybrid car owners to get free parking in the city and the introduction of hybrid buses to sorta's fleet. we are lucky to have this guy working for us!

Richard Stewart said...

I do not live in Cincinnati, though I do sell produce at Sayler Park and Northside Farmer's Markets.

In this day and age we, as a community, need to think outside of the box. During World War II this nation produced 40% of its own produce in small victory gardens. We are at war, in a recession, and it seems ever time we turn on the news the is story about an ecoli outbreak or food recall. Do we wait till things get worse or do we act now?

I think rather than complaining about land use we need to get together. There is no reason why children cannot play AND help on the same land we get food from.

I hope the County can work out something similar.

There are lots of great examples of urban "farms" that can be found online.

This would also give restaurants who want to buy locally and even closer source of produce for their menu...or better involved in the planning.

The sky is the limit I would think!

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