New York State Community Gardens Law

Community Gardens Law


Section 31-h. 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:
  3. 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;
  4. 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 agency;
  5. Support and encourage contact between community garden programs already in existence and those programs in the initial stages of development; and
  6. Seek and provide such assistance, to the extent funds or grants may become available, for the purposes identified in this article.

Section 31-i. Use of state owned land for community gardens.

  • Any state agency, department, board, public benefit corporation, public authority or commission with title to vacant public land may permit community organizations to use such lands for community gardening purposes. Such use of vacant public land may be conditioned on the community organization possessing liability insurance and accepting liability for injury or damage resulting from use of the vacant public land for community gardening purposes.
  • State agencies which have received an application for use of public lands for community garden purposes shall respond to the applicant within thirty days and make a final determination within one hundred eighty days.