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This entry was published on 2019-09-20
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Office of community gardens; powers; duties
Agriculture & Markets (AGM) CHAPTER 69, ARTICLE 2-C
§ 31-h. Office of community gardens; powers; duties. 1. The
commissioner shall establish within the department an office of
community gardens which shall have the authority and responsibility for
carrying out the provisions of this article in cooperation with the
state department of environmental conservation, the state education
department, the department of state, cooperative extensions and other
state agencies and municipalities.

2. The duties of the office shall include:

a. Upon request, the office shall assist in the identification of
vacant public land within a given geographical location and provide
information regarding agency jurisdiction and the relative suitability
of such lands for community gardening purposes;

b. Serve as a coordinator on behalf of interested community groups and
the appropriate state or local agencies to facilitate the use of vacant
public lands for community garden use for not less than one growing
season by receiving and forwarding with recommendation completed
applications to the appropriate state or municipal agency. Provided,
further, that the office may develop a single recommended application
form to be used by community groups when applying to state agencies or
municipalities for use of vacant public land for community garden

c. Support and encourage contact between community garden programs
already in existence and those programs in the initial stages of

d. Seek and provide such assistance, to the extent funds or grants may
become available, for the purposes identified in this article;

e. Assist, support and encourage contact and cooperation between, and
the cooperative sharing of resources between community garden groups,
school garden programs and local voluntary food assistance programs,
such as community food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, and
other community and not-for-profit organizations that provide or
distribute food to the elderly, poor, and disadvantaged. Such support
can include the provision of surplus community garden food or other
agricultural products to such local voluntary food assistance programs;

f. Assist, support and encourage communication, and the sharing of
resources between community garden organizations, the New York Harvest
For New York Kids Week program established by the department pursuant to
subdivision five-b of section sixteen of this chapter and individual
farm-to-school and school garden programs, and, where applicable, the
department of health, the department of state, the office of children
and family services and the division of housing and community renewal.