Community gardens in buffalo

Brian Meyer wrote in the Buffalo News 15 June 2011, Community gardeners’ wait is over – after 3 years, Council OKs leases
Gardeners are ready to “get dirty” following Tuesday’s Common Council passage of long-awaited leases to turn 34 vacant city-owned lots into neighborhood oases.

Lawmakers approved the leases unanimously and without debate. Some community gardeners have been eagerly awaiting the action for three years.

Mayor Byron W. Brown’s administration delayed submitting the master leases because of numerous concerns. The logjam ended late last week when city planners sent the proposed agreements to the Council for final action.

“We have our insurance signed up, so we’ll have everything covered under our liability insurance as of tomorrow morning,” said Susannah S. Barton, executive director of Grassroots Gardens, a not-for-profit group that facilitates leases for block clubs and community organizations. “Now I’m going to go call people and share the good news. And we’re going to start gardening tomorrow.”

For the first time, the city has assigned a staff member to work closely with Grassroots Gardens.

“We’ll be working with the community planner to help improve our process,” Barton said.

She added that the city will be involved in vetting applications for new gardens.

“We really welcome the involvement and the interest from the city. We think it’s something really important,” Barton said.