Press Release: Commitment to Community Keeps Farm Coming Back for Input
Pitney Meadows Community Farm is once again returning to the community for input on the vision and strategic planning of this unique community asset. Founded as a non-profit in 2016 after the 166-acre farmland was purchased to be protected in perpetuity as conserved agricultural lands, the Pitney Meadows Community Farm Board has been hard at work forging a strategic plan, programs and partnerships inspired by our first Community Forum in 2017.
The Board will introduce you to our new staff and our 2019 plans for farming the land, as well as ask for community feedback about the proposed trail plan for the property and introduce the phase three expansion of the Community Gardens.
“It’s time to go back to our constituents and say, ‘is this the plan you want for your Farm? Are these the classes and programs you want? Are the plans for our recreational trails what you envisioned? Is our Giving Garden and commitment to food justice in our region still a priority? What kind of history should we be recording? How can we best engage all the schools and families with the Farm? Who can support and sustain us?’ These are all the kinds of questions we seek to gather input and feedback on at our March 31 forum from the very people our Farm is here to serve – our community,” said Barbara Glaser, Board member and original champion behind the concept of the Farm. Glaser will be facilitating the Forum.
From 2:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 31, the Pitney Meadows Board will convene the second public forum hosted by Pitney Meadows Community Farm in an effort to return to the community with progress to date, seek input on the path forward, and to ask for sustained support to achieve the full vision of the Farm as an agricultural resource center focused on innovation in sustainable agriculture, community education, and recreation.
The two-hour session will bring together dozens of board members, city and county officials, volunteers, and community members for a discussion of the farm’s future. Break-out sessions will focus on programs and education, partnerships, recreation, food security, art on the farm (“articulture”), and much more. Starling Studios, a Saratoga Springs-based production company, will be on hand as well to audio record any Forum participant who has a story to tell about their experience of the Farm either recently or from when the Pitney family owned it as part of the organization’s efforts to document the history of the Farm.
The event will be held at the Waldorf Upper School of Saratoga Springs at 122 Regent Street (parking on site and at a neighboring property). Music and light refreshments will be enjoyed by Forum participants.
Space is limited. Reservations are requested at: https://www.pitneymeadowscommunityfarm.org/event/save-the-date-upcoming-community-forum/
In just two years, the Farm has established an expert working Board who have prioritized finalizing the purchase of the land and attracting and retaining full-time staff who can focus on getting the farm fields up and growing and getting the word out to the community about many new initiatives. With a focus on community collaborations, the Farm has established relationships with Franklin Community Center to grow produce for the food pantry, the Community Health Center to help their dental patients learn to grow healthy food, Caffe Lena to create a “Farm to Folk” concert series coming this spring, and the Saratoga Springs City School District and Cornell Cooperative Extension to establish a first of it’s kind Farm-to-School program growing food for all schools in the district and bringing thousands of students to the Farm. Many other exciting initiatives and partnerships are under development and will be talked about at the Forum.
“The possibilities for community engagement and education, recreation, food security, and articulture are endless. Our strategic plan lays a solid organizational footprint on which to build. The community’s creativity and connections are the fuel that will bring the Farm to its next level. Our third year is off to an incredible start and with the community’s support, this Farm is set to become one of the most important social assets of Saratoga Springs,” Ken Kleinpeter, Director.