Policy Summary

This law establishes regulations for community gardens for all zones. Topics addressed include: water quality, traffic and parking, visual impacts, orders, chemicals, equipment, structures, insurance, sales, safety, etc. Of note is the preamble language of the ordinance which sets forth numerous benefits related to community gardens.

Background Information

State Massachusetts
Jurisdiction Name Springfield
Jurisdiction Type City,
Population Size 50,000-200,000
Legal Strategies
  • Requires something, sets standards
Reach Community-wide
Food System Category Grow; Get;

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?

See references to "the socioeconomic spectrum," food security, affordable food, and "leadership development… for youth." § 154-1.

Emergency management?
Health-related linkage?

See, e.g., this language: "key determinant of public health outcomes;" and "increase healthy, affordable food access." § 154-1.

Environmental linkage?

References include this language: "connect people to the environment;" and "sustainable living practices." § 154-1.

Economic linkage?

See e.g., this language: "source of seasonal employment," "communities with gardens experience less crime and vandalism and an increase in property values." § 154-1.

Includes findings?

"Although not labeled ""findings,"" the ""Purpose and preamble section"" contains many ""whereas"" statements that are essentially findings, including the following: ""Whereas, access to healthy and affordable food options is a key determinant of public health outcomes across the socioeconomic spectrum;"" ""Whereas, community garden projects provide satisfying labor and can be a source of seasonal employment and leadership development for both adults and youth;"" ""Whereas, community garden projects encourage an urban community's food security and increase healthy, affordable food access, allowing residents to grow their own food and make it available to others;"" ""Whereas, community gardens also build community among diverse groups of neighborhood residents and are a productive and beautifying use of vacant and/or abandoned land;"" ""Whereas, communities with gardens experience less crime and vandalism and an increase in property values;"" ""Whereas, community gardens connect people to the environment and educate community members about sustainable living practices."" § 154-1."

Has a stated intent or purpose?

Includes definitions?

§ 154-2.

Addresses implementation?

Various implementation details are set forth at section 154-5, including the following: "There will be a designated person on the SFPC Steering Committee who will be responsible for accepting requests about community gardens. That person will work with the appropriate City department liaisons from Housing, Parks and Recreation, and Planning about lots that are available as requests are received;" "If the garden entity is looking for available and City-owned land, the SFPC will accept requests for community garden lots between the months of January to May. Lots will be identified with the help of City departments of Housing, Parks and Recreation, and Planning;" "The SFPC is the liaison between the garden group and the City." §154-5.

Enforcement provisions?

Evaluation component?

Requires extra investment?

Code context and ordinance history

Chapter 154, Community Gardens is located in Part II General Legislation. History: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Springfield 5-9-2012 (the enacting ordinance is not specified).


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