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Our Vision for the Future of Urban Agriculture in Arlington

posted Jan 8, 2019, 11:13 AM by Arlington Urban Agriculture   [ updated Jan 11, 2019, 11:54 AM ]

At our December 12, 2018, meeting, we explored the progress made in the past five years since the County issued its Urban Agriculture Task Force Report (we’ve made a lot progress – read our blog). We then looked toward the future. Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture’s Board of Directors spent time this year defining our vision, mission and strategic goals. We also identified our work for 2019. We envision our work in three phases: Seed, Nurture and Grow. This year is our Seed year as we further refine our areas of work and build our organizational capacity so we can undertake our ambitious mission and agenda. As you read through this blog, ask yourself – how can I help – and then contact us!

Strategic Goals 2019 – 2021

Champion “grow local” programs to improve access to fresh food for all Arlington residents, such as:

Ø  Community and school gardens

Ø  Grow food not lawns

Ø  Creative solutions to access land (e.g. yard sharing, green spaces at multi-residential and commercial sites

Advocate for a secure and sustainable food system, such as:

Ø  Local and regional food systems

Ø  Food recovery

Ø  Climate change impact

Lead efforts to establish Arlington as a principal business and economic center for Urban Agriculture in the region, such as:

Ø  Farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) businesses

Ø  Farm to Table

Ø  Indoor, roof top and emerging growing technologies

Ø  Policy and business incentives 

Seed: 2019 Goals

Assess the 2019 status of public, community and for-profit Urban Agriculture initiatives.

Ø  Identify opportunities for further development and make recommendations.

Ø  Research best practice regulatory and structural requirements for establishing urban agriculture enterprises.

Ø  Participate in the County’s updating process for the Forestry and Natural Resources Master Plans.

 Build membership and outreach.

Ø  Host at least four meetings each year. Our target is two educational and two interactive meetings.

Ø  Increase membership and outreach, focusing on key issues for residents, businesses and other stakeholders.

Ø  Expand and improve communication.

 Develop organizational capacity.

Ø  Expand Board membership.

Ø  Create an organizational model to support initiatives, including establishing FOUA as a non-profit organization.

Ø  Explore funding sources. 

Nurture: 2020 Goals

Ø  Build community interest in expanding Arlington’s urban agriculture sector and transforming our food system by engaging members and consumers to think about what we eat and the way food is produced.

Ø  Promote urban agriculture business development and a hyperlocal food chain.

Ø  Advocate on urban agriculture and food policy issues.

Ø  Identify and help fulfill gaps in the urban agriculture sector.

Grow: 2021 and Beyond

Ø  Partner with Arlington County to implement best practices for urban agriculture such as regulations, incentives, incubating startups in the county.

Ø  Build on our foundations of activities, collaborations and research to establish a secure and equitable local food system.

Ø  Leverage existing county work to implement climate and carbon mitigating plans.

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