A Sustainable Food System in Lake County
Lake County provides a high quality of life for its residents, with urban centers, rural communities, and ecologically diverse natural areas. Development pressure to accommodate its growing population is often at odds with preservation of its open space, much of which is agricultural land. In an effort to adapt to changing trends and conditions in the agricultural sector, a group of nonprofit, public, and private partners throughout Lake County have joined together to explore the potential for a more sustainable food system in the county. Headed by Conserve Lake County -- a countywide land trust and a leader in conservation -- this dynamic group (see list below) is working with CMAP through its Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program on the Lake County Sustainable Food Systems project.
Sustainable food systems balance economic prosperity, environmental preservation, and public health while moving agricultural products from farmer to consumer. Nationally, consumer demand for locally grown food is increasing rapidly, and agricultural production is opening up beyond traditional farming to include more vegetable and specialty farming. Please click here to download our brochure about developing a local food system in Lake County. With its growing trend toward smaller farm plots and more specialty agriculture operations, Lake County is well-suited to grow its sustainable food system. By fostering the capacity in Lake County for small-scale, local, and/or organic agriculture that is environmentally sensitive to natural areas, the resulting sustainable food system will boost the county's overall production, driving economic development and contributing to the healthy food options in the region.
With these goals in mind, this Lake County Sustainable Food Systems project takes a two-pronged approach, aiming to:
- Explore countywide policy changes that can support sustainable agricultural practices;
- Bolster the current sustainable agriculture operations in the Liberty Prairie Reserve, making it a model sustainable food system in the county.
The project's timeline has planned simultaneous work on these two sub-projects, scheduled to be completed in September 2012. Key project deliverables include an update to the Liberty Prairie Conservancy's Reserve Master Plan, as well as a policy and programmatic platform for a food policy council to examine these issues further for Lake County.
Steve Barg, Executive Director, Conserve Lake County, (email@example.com or 847-548-5989)
Jessica Simoncelli, Associate, CMAP, (firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-386-8631)
Project News Coverage
Experts: A Local, Sustiainable Food System is Worth Billions, Patch.com, May 23, 2012.
The LTA home page has details of activities sponsored by the HUD Sustainable Communities grant to CMAP for support of community projects that advance the principles of GO TO 2040. In our second call for projects through the Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, CMAP received over 100 proposals from more than 80 applicants. View the press release and summary of selected projects.
An interactive map of local case studies describes projects and people that exemplify the goals and objectives of GO TO 2040.
CMAP's Local Ordinances and Toolkits program provides resources to municipalities interested in pursuing policies that are aligned with GO TO 2040 recommendations.