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Community Garden Support

Dear Community Garden supporters:

Community Gardens in Madison, WI need your help.  The City of Madison
Advisory Committee on Community Gardens has issued its report, "Growing a 
Stronger Community with Community Gardens: An Action Plan for Madison."  The 
Common Council will vote on the action recommendations very soon, probably 
in October, 1999. We need you to contact Mayor Sue Bauman at 
<sbauman@ci.madison.wi.us> to encourage her to support the report and its 
action plan.

The Action Plan on Community Gardening is a result of over a years study and 
deliberation by the City of Madison Advisory Committee on Community Gardens. 
  The Plan recommends that the city take a more active role in supporting 
community gardens, particularly in securing long-term access to land.  Below 
are some key recommendations of the plan:

1) Institute a gardens acquisition program that will allocate $60,000/year 
to purchase garden sites and buy at least one new site a year for 10 years 
(or until a balance has been reached between the demand for and supply of 
community garden plots).

2) Create an ongoing position of Coordinator for community gardening

3) Establish grants for garden operating costs.

4) Implement the 1991 Parks and Open Space Plan, which recommended the
purchase of as many as 2,000 city-owned garden plots (could be on park land 
or Community Development Authority land).

5) Fund nonprofit organizations to acquire and hold lands for community 
gardens and arrange for the management of gardens and otherwise steward the 

As long ago as 1991, Madison adopted a Parks and Open Space plan that
called for increasing the number of garden plots by the year 2000.
Ironically and sadly, since that time we have lost as many as 400 plots in 
11 community gardens.  Parking lots, roadways, a car dealership and other 
buildings have displaced gardens that had provided healthy exercise, good 
nutrition, and a sense of belonging to the community.  The trend will 
continue unless Madison takes action.

We are hoping that if other community garden programs that are city-run or 
city-funded support our efforts, our Council will realize that a very 
successful partnership is possible between community gardening and city 
government.  We urge you to email Mayor Bauman at <sbauman@ci.madison.wi.us> 
describing how your city supports community gardens.  Mayor Bauman has 
recently been voted to lead a committee of "progressive mayors" for the 
National Mayors Congress.  If you believe community gardens should be on the 
progressive agenda please tell her so.

(Please, when you email Mayor Bauman, also CC MCGC at 
<mcgcmadison@hotmail.com> and alderperson Barbara Vedder at 
<district2@council.ci.madison.us>  Thank You!!)

(To see a draft of The City of Madison Advisory Committee on Community 
Gardens report, go to http://www.wisc.edu/mfsp/pubsf/tskfrpt.html)

Madison Community Gardeners Coalition (MCGC)

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