New York Agriculture & Markets Law
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 purposes;
c. Support and encourage contact between community garden programs already in existence and those programs in the initial stages of development;
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; and
f. Assist, support and encourage communication, and the sharing of resources between community garden organizations and 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.