On December 14th at 6pm the Reno City Council will consider a proposal to rezone a portion of the UNR Main Station Farm light industrial. This land is ideally suited for what it already is, that is, agriculture and wildlife habitat. Local food and farming advocates are encouraging the Council to look to a different future for that property and refrain from building businesses on a flood plain, and ideally, zone the property agricultural and open space. Should the Council vote down this proposal or postpone this decision until a later time it would leave the door open for other plans that could be more beneficial to our community. It will also give our community more time to discuss and plan for healthier alternatives to the zoning. This will benefit the growing local food movement, future agricultural education for our youth and the sustainability of Wolf Pack Meats.
Please sign THIS PETITION opposing the rezoning of the UNR Main Station Farm.
We’re encouraging everyone to attend the meeting to show the City Council we the decision to reject the zone change. Please attend and fill out a public comment form to make your voice heard. No need to speak if you’d rather not, but your public comment form demonstrates the level of support.
5:30 – Arrive early to submit your Public Comment Form. They will not be accepted after 6 p.m. There will be a group of local food activists out front at 5pm helping people to fill out comments forms. You can either submit a comment card or sign up to speak for 3 minutes during the public comment section of the meeting.
6:00 – Meeting begins
Reno City Hall, Council Chambers
1 E. 1st Street, Reno (public parking garage next to CityHall)
PLEASE READ THIS VERY THOUGHTFUL LETTER IN OPPOSITION TO THE REZONING BY A VERY DEDICATED GBCFC CO-OP MEMBER-OWNER & LOCAL FOOD ACTIVIST:
It’s Not Local Food without Local Farmland and a University Agricultural Program to Back It
Farming in America is at a turning point. Rapidly rising global food demands, spiking food and fuel prices, and the ever-present threat of development are pressuring our farmers to squeeze the most out of their land or else leave.
We have been supporting our local farmers by buying locally at the Great Basin Community Food Coop and local farmers markets. We have joined CSAs and bought meat form local ranchers. We even go out to eat at local restaurants that are buying for local farmers.
The next important step to support our local farmers is to join efforts to protect the little farmland we have left in our community, such as the UNR Main Station farmland off McCarran and Mill Street. According to American Farmland Trust, we’re losing 2 acres of farmland to development every minute. The farms and ranches that supply local markets—those closest to urban centers—are the most at risk. Do you, as a community member, want to see the last remaining farmland in Reno turn into another box store development?
What’s unique about the 104-acre farmland is that it holds the floodwaters in times when the Truckee River overflows, thereby providing an important ecological function to filter the water and fertilizing the land. It functions as grassland for the research and teaching performed by the Rangeland Management program at UNR. It also provides a much-loved historic view corridor to the Truckee meadows, telling the story of why this flat, fertile land functions well as farmland and was chosen as such by pioneers. Shouldn’t this historic, agricultural and ecologically significant land be preserved for future generations?
The 104 acres of farmland that the UNR has annexed to the City of Reno is up for rezoning at the next City Council meeting, Wednesday, December 14h, at 6 pm. As a community, we are asking the City of Reno to postpone decision on this rezoning request. We ask UNR to work with us to develop a long-term sustainable plan for the entire farmland area at the Main Station, so that it can continue to provide the important flood acreage for our community, maintain the space for our land-grant UNR College of Agriculture, and preserve the last of our urban farmland, that speaks of the past and promises the future potential of our local food security.
With our combined vision, we can help keep agriculture viable in our community to continue providing the delicious foods, economic benefits and improved environmental quality we’ve all come to enjoy.
Jana Vanderhaar, concerned citizen