Urban farming report overdue, long-awaited in San Francisco
11 city departments, two state agencies and three federal agencies own San Francisco land currently used for communal or plot-based gardens.
By Andrea Koskey
San Francisco Examiner
Local gardening and sustainability efforts are growing rapidly in The City, and residents and city officials would like an easier way to help such efforts take root. But with 84 gardens already in existence and dozens of other potential locations still available, there is no clear way to start such projects without creeping from one city department to another to learn which oversees the site.
As many as 11 city departments, two state agencies and three federal agencies own San Francisco land currently used for communal or plot-based gardens. Having so many agencies involved in such efforts can hold up the process, according to a San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association report released last year.
But that could change if The City creates a position to oversee all urban agriculture in The City, as is recommended in a draft report that has not yet been released.
“Right now you have to go to different agencies,” said Eli Zigas, SPUR’s food systems and urban agricultural program manager. “A one-stop shop has not been set up yet. One key feature of the strategic report focuses on where or who should oversee urban agricultural programs. Once that’s set and established, hopefully it will be a better coordination of resources.”
The report was due from the City Administrator’s Office in December. It is the result of legislation requiring analysis of how The City handles urban agriculture and whether a new position should be created to oversee its operation.