Land Use Working Group

Many of the impacts of climate change, including drought and water shortages, directly affect food production. Rising food prices and diminished food security — two of the most severe consequences — are already hitting California, in synch with many other regions across the world. Maximizing urban food production is key to staying resilient in the face of these threats.

The goal of this Working Group is to establish clear, replicable processes by which residents can establish new community gardens on public and privately owned undeveloped land. As part of this goal, the group is identifying local vacant lots and will prepare one pilot site for a community garden. The group will create criteria for prioritizing vacant lots, compile community garden waiting lists, create protocol for testing soil for contaminants, and develop and publicize a guide that explains how to establish community gardens.

The Group is also advocating for the passage of a Parks Bond that would, among other benefits, restore the abandoned track of land in South Berkeley, the Santa Fe Right of Way, into a “garden greenway”, and provide funding for a Volunteer Coordinator and a mini-grants program.

The Land Use Working Group has created a Berkeley Community Gardening Handbook, which reflects our growing body of knowledge on how to establish community gardens in Berkeley. This is a living document, which will be updated and expanded as the Working Group learns more.

If you are interested in joining the Land Use Working Group and attending our meetings, please contact Shawna McCarroll or John Steere: or