The January call featured guest presenters Nathan Aaberg from the Liberty Prairie Foundation and Andrew Szwak from Openlands:
How are local governments like yours uniquely positioned to encourage sustainable development by making land available for local food farming? What factors should your agency or district think through as you explore local food farming possibilities on your land? What’s happening with farmland access in northeastern Illinois in general?
The Liberty Prairie Foundation and Openlands launched the Land Access Pilot Project in 2014 with the ultimate goal of taking the first steps towards systematically increasing sustainable local food farming on public and private lands in northeastern Illinois. Andrew and Nathan will update you on progress made and lessons learned since the Land Access Pilot Project began. They’ll also introduce you to a valuable resource they developed in late 2016 - Breaking Ground: A Guide to Growing Land Access for Local Food Farming in Northeast Illinois. This is a comprehensive guide to land access for farmers, landowners (including public agencies), and stakeholders that includes an inventory of innovative tools that are being used around the country to make land access work in a variety of situations. There will be plenty of time for questions and dialogue.
The Prairie State Local Government Sustainability Network is an independent peer forum of top-level municipal professionals in Illinois who manage projects, staff, and budgets for sustainability, energy, and climate planning.
Coordination support for the Prairie State Local Government Sustainability Network provided, in part, by