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This entry was published on 2019-09-20
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SECTION 31-J
Community gardens task force
Agriculture & Markets (AGM) CHAPTER 69, ARTICLE 2-C
§ 31-j. Community gardens task force. 1. The commissioner may convene
a community gardens task force to identify and develop ways to encourage
state agencies, municipalities and private parties to establish and
expand community gardens and the activities conducted by such gardens.

2. The task force shall be chaired by the commissioner, or by such
officer or employee of the department as shall be designated by the
commissioner. The membership of the task force may include
representation from appropriate state agencies and members that
represent existing community gardens, counties, cities, towns, villages,
school districts, other special use districts, public authorities and
cooperative extension services.

3. The commissioner, may request the assistance of state agencies to
carry out the work of the task force.

4. (a) The goals of the task force may include, but are not limited
to, the study, evaluation and development of recommendations: (i) to
encourage the establishment and expansion of community gardens by state
agencies, municipal governments and private parties, (ii) to encourage
cooperation between the activities and operations of community gardens
and provision of donated food to local voluntary food assistance
programs for the poor and disadvantaged, (iii) to increase the benefits
that community gardens may provide to the local community in which they
are located, (iv) to encourage cooperation with community-based
organizations to increase the opportunities for seniors, those aged
sixty years of age or older, to participate in community gardens, and
(v) to encourage the expansion of the production of fresh fruits and
vegetables in areas served by community gardens so that such fresh
produce can be consumed locally to help encourage healthier life styles
and wellness, and to help reduce the incidence of adult and childhood
obesity.

(b) In achieving the goals of the task force, the task force may
consider recommendations that: (i) encourage the execution of
conservation easements by state agencies, municipalities or private
parties to establish or protect community gardens, (ii) encourage the
creation of mechanisms to transfer development rights to protect
community gardens or encourage the donation or lease of lands for
community gardens, (iii) development of model zoning codes, local land
use laws or other municipal policies that could encourage the
establishment or retention of community gardens, and (iv) any other
activity to achieve the goals deemed appropriate by the task force
according to the provisions of this article.