Mayor Walsh Breaks Ground on Boston's First "Right to Farm" Site
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that The Trust for Public Land, a leading national nonprofit land conservation organization, has acquired and received approval from the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) to create the first urban farm in Boston allowed under the City's new "Article 89" commercial farming zoning.
The announcement was made during a community-wide celebration of Boston’s Urban Agriculture program at the formerly city-owned parcel at 225 Harold Street in Roxbury. Boston’s Urban Agriculture Initiative is part of Mayor Walsh’s overall food agenda, which aims to increase access to affordable and healthy food to Boston’s residents.
"Farmers make good neighbors. Urban agriculture is an innovative way to improve city life,” Mayor Walsh said. "Boston’s new zoning creates opportunities for entrepreneurs, decreases the distance food travels from farm to table, and improves the lives of our residents. I want to thank the Trust for Public Land for partnering with the City of Boston to create urban farms like this one in our neighborhoods. "
Boston’s Urban Agriculture Initiative is a national model that brings the farming community and government agencies together to increase education and knowledge around healthy eating, farming, and food production, and promotes economic opportunities by increasing partnerships between local government and local and regional food producers.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority and Mayor’s Office of Food Initiatives worked with urban farming advocates and neighborhoods to come up with Boston's first "right-to-farm" by-law, known as Article 89. The Garrison Trotter farm is the first of a number of collaborations between the Trust for Public Land, DNI, and the Urban Farming Institute of Boston to acquire and improve several other vacant lots in Roxbury and Dorchester.
Garrison Trotter Farm will be for use by local neighborhood farmers who will have the opportunity to grow food commercially on the farm through a partnership with the Urban Farming Institute, Dudley Neighbors Inc., and City Growers.
The land on Harold Street was protected for decades by The Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association and owned by DND. The Trust for Public Land, the site's new owner, will continue to collaborate with the Urban Farming Institute of Boston and the City to acquire and improve several other vacant lots in Roxbury and Dorchester. The Trust for Public Land has secured private funds for the acquisition, permitting, and creation of three new urban farms on City-owned land, and the Department of Neighborhood Development continues to identify additional property for development into farms.