Community Gardens and Urban Agriculture


In addition to beautifying city blocks and providing needed green space in areas where public parks are scarce, community gardeners grow nutritious fresh foods for families, communities, and emergency food sites. Gardens and urban farms are centers of learning where children discover the natural world and find out where food comes from. Gardens are safe spaces for exercise in communities with poor access to physical activity outlets. These green spaces deliver environmental benefits such as reduced city heat, decreased storm water run-off, safer soil, and natural habitat for birds. In gardens, residents of all ages from diverse backgrounds find common ground.

Community Gardens Task Force

New York State's Community Gardens Task Force convenes stakeholders from state agencies, existing community gardens, special use districts, public authorities, and cooperative extension services to establish and expand community gardens and the activities they conduct. The group may study, evaluate, and develop recommendations related to this purpose. 

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Urban Agriculture Stakeholder Meeting

The Department is undertaking a statewide study of urban agriculture to better understand the industry and put forth policy recommendations to further support it, in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s (CCE) urban agriculture work team. This study builds upon Governor’s Hochul’s State of the State commitment to advancing opportunities for urban farming.

The Department and the CCE work team are seeking input for the study from urban agriculture advocates and practitioners across New York. Such groups should submit any reports, recommendations, surveys, studies, or other documents they have drafted to [email protected] to be included in the study. Inclusivity and representation are core tenants of the study, and as such all advocates and practitioners are encouraged to submit their work.

Additionally, stakeholders were invited to attend a special working session on November 2, 2022 to share their insights and experiences. Materials from the meeting are available below. Watch a recording of the meeting.