Transforming Open Space to Sustainable Farm Enterprises
Transforming Open Space to Sustainable Farm Enterprises examines the potential use and benefits of transforming preserved open space that is not currently farmed to sustainable agricultural enterprises. The study examines parkland and utility corridors within Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, along with vacant lands within Philadelphia, to assess current sustainable agricultural enterprises, determine obstacles to increased sustainable farming, recommend ways to overcome these barriers, and estimate the amount of protected land that may be available for this use and the potential economic benefits of increased sustainable farming. The study found that advancing sustainable agriculture enterprises in Southeastern Pennsylvania has the potential to create jobs and add to the local, grass-roots economy while supplying additional fresh, nutritious food to the region's population. The findings conservatively estimate that sustainable agricultural enterprises on a small portion of the region's protected parkland, utility corridors and Philadelphia's vacant lots could generate nearly $258 million annually in crop value in the five-county region. The study was supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation and was prepared by Simone Collins Landscape Architecture.