City of Minneapolis approved new rules in leasing City-owned vacant lots for community gardens. Now 43 more City-owned parcels will be available for community gardeners to lease in 2016, for more than100 total. Eligible leaseholders now include urban farmers and market gardeners besides community gardeners.
Other changes to the rules include: Leases for one-, three- or five-year terms; insurance liability requirement decreased by $1 million; and lease agreements will require pollinator-friendly practices.
These changes came about through the Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council’s 2015 policy recommendations following increasing demand from residents for both community and commercial gardening space in the city. Access to these lots will help improve food equity and access to healthy food, and grow the local food economy.
The Community Garden Program began in 2010 to help make Minneapolis more beautiful, provide healthy food and build community. Fifty City lots are already leased to community groups. The City supports community gardens in its commitment to promoting access to good nutrition, improving the ecological footprint of the city, encouraging active and healthy living and providing spaces for human interaction, food production and beauty in our daily lives. Minneapolis already has about 275 community gardens throughout the city.
For info go to minneapolismn.gov/homegrown.