Popular county program promoting local agriculture, producers recognized with 2021 Best Practice Award from NYS Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association
The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning announced Erie Grown, an initiative of the Erie County Office of Agriculture promoting locally grown and in-season agricultural products and agritourism while improving the viability of farming in Erie County, was recognized by the New York Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association with a 2021 Best Practice Award. The accolade is presented to projects that use innovative planning methods and practices to help create communities of lasting value.
“The importance of our agricultural sector has been evident throughout the pandemic, as the community increasingly looks to local producers to provide healthy food for their tables. The Erie Grown website has been a key element in increasing connections between local growers and consumers, which is good for business and for heath,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “This award is great recognition for the Erie Grown initiative, and is well-deserved. I thank the Office of Agriculture for all their hard work, which is making a difference in our community.”
Poloncarz created the Office of Agriculture in 2020 to address the loss of farmland, improve the viability of farming, and assist rural municipalities with planning for agriculture. In order to facilitate this objective, the Office of Agriculture created the Erie Grown website to promote locally grown and in-season produce, as well as maple syrup, honey, and agritourism activities. The goal is to better connect consumers to farmers, farmers markets, and local foods by linking available goods with those who would like to buy them.
“Each year, the New York upstate chapter has the wonderful challenge of reviewing applications from our colleagues and communities and learning more about what is happening around the state," said Sean Maguire, chapter vice president and awards chair. “We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Professional Awards highlighting the best in planning across upstate New York creating great communities for all.”
Erie Grown received one of six Upstate APA Best Practice awards. Other winners included the Town of Amherst Farmland Protection and Agricultural Development Plan; the Revitalization and Redevelopment Design Plan for Sewall’s Island and Factory Square in the City of Watertown; the Lark Street Improvement Study in the City of Albany; Livingston County’s LivCo Wayfinding Strategy; and Delaware County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan Update: Mitigation and Adaptation Opportunities.
Erie Grown also received a 2021 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties, earning a “Best in Category” award for Community and Economic Development.
For more information on the Erie Grown initiative, visit https://www2.erie.gov/eriegrown/.