Community Land Trusts
Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are an innovative way for communities to invest in their collective assets, wealth-building capacity, and community well being. In the United States, a significant amount of work establishing CLTs has been done in African American communities, with the New Communities in Georgia being a founder of using the approach for agricultural land. Today, many CLTs across the country focus on housing that remains affordable within communities, and some attend to the pressing need for access to land for food production.
In September 2009, Gardening Matters convened a film and discussion series in the Twin Cities entitled Celebrating Local Food, Creating Permanent Community Spaces that highlighted the need for permanent spaces for a neighborhood-based community food system and that evoked a very positive community response. Around the same time, there were several community gardens in danger of losing their land-use arrangements. With both this community interest and community need in mind, a small group of individuals and organizations met and decided to hold a facilitated community meeting that focused on identifying strategies to achieve land permanency for a community-based food system. A broad base of individuals and organizations were invited to this meeting on April 25, 2010 which resulted in four work groups being established to carry out the directives of the larger group. These work groups have become the core of the three committees that are the center of TCALT’s work: communication and participation (focused on getting the word out, listening to the stories people want to share, and supporting affirmative process for inclusive work), land access programming and services (working on pilot projects, developing more land access strategies, and delivering educational programming related to land access and land policy), and governance and development (raising money and maintaining operating procedures) — more detail on the work of these committees can be found at the link below.
The Twin Cities Community Agricultural Land Trust was developed out of a collaboration between a number of organizations working together in Minnesota to secure long term land access for agricultural land in the Metro region. See this more detailed page for more information about the various collaborators who have worked with TCALT.
TCALT’s work has so far mostly been done by community members working in committees — more detail on the committee coordinators and board volunteers can be found at the link above.
We want to hear your perspectives on community agricultural land! Please join us for Board and Committee Meetings on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 6-8pm. We alternate each month between different locations that are interested in hosting us, and list our upcoming meetings in our calendar, listed on the home page.
Email is the best way to reach us: firstname.lastname@example.org