Thursday night, Albany's will discuss city goals related to the future of urban farming in Albany, in areas including, but not limited to, the .
The City Council decided in May to , which has traditionally been the advisory body to handle urban farming efforts overseen by the city.
According to the staff report prepared for Thursday's meeting, the commission will tackle three main goals: provide public input regarding urban farming and community gardens in Albany; explore partnerships with the as well as non-profit organizations wanting to pursue urban farming and ; and provide feedback to , dean of UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources, as part of the at the Gill Tract.
The commission "will continue to agendize each month Urban Farming and Community Gardens in Albany in an effort to accomplish items 1-3 listed above."
According to the staff report, which is attached to this story as a PDF, the city already oversees a , and works with Albany High volunteers on a .
The commission has talked about the possibility of community gardens and/or a fruit tree orchard along the once BART seismic work along the pathway is complete.
If the commission follows a suggestion from city staff, its members also will select one person on the panel "to assist the City in collaborative efforts with other public agencies and organizations...to be available to attend meetings or events, and discuss information from such opportunities with the Commission."
The Parks & Recreation Commission will meet Thursday, June 14, at City Hall at 7 p.m.
GILL TRACT ALSO TO COME BEFORE COUNCIL
Monday night, the also has an agenda item scheduled that is .
Council members and , after to work with the university to discuss possible future uses of the Gill Tract, will present a status report about their efforts. They plan to provide monthly updates about their work.
Thomsen and Wile are recommending that the council send a letter to university officials regarding the property. The council will discuss a draft version of this letter, to be signed by , on Monday night.
According to the draft, the council received a June 4 letter from university officials "confirming the University's commitment to meaningful collaboration among the College of Natural Resources and the Albany community on the short- and long-term strategies for the Gill Tract."
Wile and Thomsen look forward, according to the letter, to working with Dean Gilless on immediate plans, as well as a fall community workshop related to the Gill Tract.
"This fall workshop ... will be a tremendous opportunity for the University to explore the interdisciplinary potential of urban farming, using the community as a resource and partner to achieve results."
Further, "The City of Albany is proud to collaborate with the University of California on urban agriculture possibilities that may lead to breakthroughs in global sustainability, nutrition, and business models that are well-grounded in local interests and needs."
The letter, if approved by council, could be sent to the regents, president and chancellor of the University of California to express support for University academic initiatives and community partnerships at the Gill Tract.
According to the City Council staff report, attached to this story as a PDF, Wile and Thomsen will work together "on issues related to future uses of the Gill Tract including but not limited to urban agriculture, gardening, and/or farming."
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