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Community Gardens & Urban Agriculture

Support community gardens and urban agriculture to restore natural resources within the Urban Service Area.

Lexington allows community gardens on public property such as parks and greenways, in areas where appropriate. Seedleaf was founded in 2007 with a mission to nourish communities by growing and sharing food in Lexington. The nonprofit grew three gardens in 2008, 10 gardens in 2009, and has grown steadily since then. While neighbors come together to produce local food and improve social connections, the process also restores natural resources within the urban area, leaving ecological benefits for the environment. Seedleaf cultivates 15 free u-pick community gardens throughout Fayette County’s food deserts, areas deemed by the USDA to have problematic access to fresh local food. Seedleaf also picks up compost at 35 area restaurants and kitchens through their Compost Partners Program, a partnership with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government’s Division of Waste Management. Much of that food waste is composted at or near community gardens.

Urban farming has become popular in multiple cities. With growing population and urbanization, suitable agricultural soil is diminishing within the urban area. However, market demand for organic locally grown food is dramatically increasing for health and economic reasons. New solutions are popping up, including rooftop farming. Lexington has a community base for organic locally grown agriculture, in which new development could play a major role.

“Soaring prices and concerns about chemical-laden fruits and vegetables increasingly drive us to grow our own healthy food close to home. In cities, however, vanishing ground space and contaminated soils spur farmers, activists, and restaurateurs to look to the skyline for a solution. The hunger for local food has reached new heights, and rooftops can provide the space that cities need to bring fresh, organic produce to tables across North America.”

- Lauren Mandal, EAT UP

These inspiring solutions will help restore the urban environment and benefit all residents of Lexington.

Action Item(s)

  • Work with Parks & Recreation and private organizations to facilitate the creation of a regional sports complex.

Goals and Objectives

GOAL B2: Reduce Lexington-Fayette County’s carbon footprint.

Objective: B2b

Anticipate the community's needs by encouraging environmentally sustainable uses of natural resources.

GOAL B3: Apply environmentally sustainable practices to protect, conserve and restore landscapes and natural resources.

There are no objectives related to this policy that further this particular goal.