Seattle Launches “Year of Urban Agriculture” Campaign

City of Seattle launches “Year of Urban Agriculture” campaign

Seattle, Feb 14, 2010 – Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle City Councilmembers on Wednesday, February 3,  announced the “Year of Urban Agriculture” campaign to promote urban agriculture efforts and increase community access to locally grown food.

In April, 2008, Seattle City Council adopted Resolution 31019, the Local Food Action Initiative, outlining a series of actions developed to promote local and regional food sustainability and security. The goals of the Local Food Action Initiative include improving the local food system through advancing the City of Seattle’s interrelated goals of race and social justice, environmental sustainability, economic development, and emergency preparedness.

“We are committed to making changes that are better for people and better for the environment. This means making it easier to garden and grow food, to ensure that good food is available in all neighborhoods, and to find innovative ways to encourage local and regional food production,” said Mayor McGinn.

The City of Seattle recognizes that supporting urban agriculture is an important component of improving public health and building community relationships. The City’s P-Patch Program in the Department of Neighborhoods, “Healthy Parks, Healthy You” initiative in the Parks Department, and guidelines from the Seattle Department of Transportation for the use of planting strips for gardens contribute to creating more opportunities to learn about and grow food.

“One in eight people nationally are using food banks,” stated Council President Richard Conlin. “There is tremendous interest and opportunity in Seattle for growing food which can improve access to healthy food. We want to encourage our residents to get their hands in the soil and connect to others who are interested in urban agriculture.”

In support of the Urban Agriculture campaign, the City today launched in interactive web portal including a calendar highlighting local events related to urban agriculture and activities, information and resources available, and links to many organizations working toward improving the local food system. For more information please visit: http://www.seattle.gov/urbanagriculture/

Paul Haas, resource development director of Solid Ground added, “What this campaign means is new community farms providing fruits and vegetables for people who otherwise have little access to good food.”

In 2010, the City along with community partners will be advancing a number of initiatives related to urban agriculture including opening a new urban food bank farm, developing additional community gardens through the Parks Levy, and considering new land use codes that support urban agriculture.

Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast live on Seattle Channel 21 and Webcast live on the City Council’s website at http://www.seattle.gov/council/. Copies of legislation, archives of previous meetings, and news releases are also available on http://www.seattle.gov/council/. Follow the Council on Twitter and on Facebook at Seattle City Council.

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