As the City Administrator's strategic plan notes, the Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) has land, resources and staff that can support the new urban agriculture program in a way unavailable to other departments. In addition to these strengths, we are encouraged by the new energy in the Community Gardens program as well as the Department’s engagement with community groups in discussing this proposal. Similarly, we are also encouraged that RPD has indicated in public meetings its understanding that the mission of this new program is to coordinate with other agencies and community groups, rather than replace them, and that the program needs to serve many types of urban agriculture beyond just plot-based community gardens.
SPUR supports this resolution, the general recommendations made by the City Administrator, and the dedication of a full-time staff person to the new program. Alongside our support of the resolution, we encourage the Board to consider holding a hearing six to nine months after the new coordinator has been hired to assess the program’s progress in reaching the goals in the workplan and in the legislation.