Moving Beyond the Schoolyard

Dig, Eat, & Be Healthy

A Guide to Growing Food on Public Property

Growing food on public property – from vacant fields, to schoolyards, parks, utility rights-of-way,  and even the rooftops of public buildings – can yield a diverse crop of community benefits. Fresh, healthy food is just the beginning: growing food on public property can also promote civic participation, public safety, food literacy, job skills, and urban greening – in short, healthier, more vibrant places. This guide provides users with the tools they need to access public land for growing food, including:

  • opportunities to work with public agencies to identify and inventory suitable growing sites and develop a process for partners to access these sites
  • common types of agreements that govern the relationship between food-growing groups and public entities, such as leases, licenses, and interagency agreements
  • common provisions in agreements, such as liability, utilities, maintenance, growing practices, contamination, access and security, and improvements
  • special issues related to growing food on school district property
  • sample agreements from real-world urban agriculture projects on public land (download below)