Consultant for Bridgeport CT

Bridgeport Food Policy Council

Developing an Urban Agriculture Master Plan for the City of Bridgeport CT

Green Village Initiative, in partnership with the Urban Agriculture Subcommittee of the
Bridgeport Food Policy Council, is seeking a consultant to develop an Urban Agriculture Master
Plan for the city of Bridgeport. This would identify spaces that could be used as gardens and
farms within the city, eliminate barriers to growing food, ensure consumer safety through
standardized growing practices, and ensure urban agriculture is community-driven, and support
the growth of urban agriculture over the long-term.
Background:

Definition: The Bridgeport Food Policy Council defines “urban agriculture” as farms and
gardens that exist within city limits for the purposes of household consumption, commercial
venture, or education, such as urban farms, community gardens, backyard gardens, and school
gardens. Urban agriculture can include activities such as hydroponics, aquaponics, aquaculture,
indoor farming, rooftop farming, beekeeping, flowers, livestock (i.e. chickens, grazing goats),
composting, and use of accessory structures, such as hoop houses, greenhouses, cold frames,
and sheds. Within this document, we use the term “Urban Grower” to describe any person or
organization performing these practices.
Urban Agriculture in Bridgeport: Bridgeport is emerging as a hub of urban agriculture through
urban farms, community gardens, educational school gardens, aquaculture, and indoor,
hydroponic operations. Further developing these initiatives can expand employment
opportunities, entrepreneurial activities, and fresh food access. Bridgeport is home to Green
Village Initiative, a local nonprofit dedicated to urban farming, community gardens, school
gardens and leadership development; the Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science and
Technology Education Center, a high school; a for-profit, high density indoor farm business
operated by Metro Crops; over 15 community garden lots for gardeners to grow food for their
families; over 25 school gardens that provide educational opportunities; and oyster farming
operations.
Urban agriculture has many potential benefits for post-industrial cities, including increasing
access to healthy food, improving social capital, opportunities for job creation and crime
reduction, building community resilience to climate change (Cohen and Reynolds, 2016; Kim,
Palmer, & Santo, 2016), technical skill-building, and youth development. Benefits include:
● Access to Healthy Food: A common barrier to a nutritious diet is the ability to afford a
variety of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. A Bridgeport Community Health
Needs Assessment showed that overweight Bridgeport adults reported cost as the
Green Village Initiative
Green Village Initiative | 325 Lafayette Street #9101, Bridgeport, CT 06604 | (203) 227-5320 | www.gogvi.org
Green Village Initiative is a non-profit organization whose mission is to grow food, knowledge, leadership and
community through urban gardening and farming, to create a more just food system in Bridgeport.
biggest barrier to healthy eating (Bridgeport Community Allied to Reach Health Equity,
2013). Community gardens have the potential to save at least $475 in food costs per
season for individual gardeners (Golden, 2013).
● Youth Attitudes about Food: Urban agriculture presents an opportunity to change
perceptions of healthy food among young people. This was demonstrated in a recent
survey of Bridgeport high school students (Greer, Davis, Sandolo, Gaudet, &
Castrogivanni, 2017). The study showed that students who reported experience farming
and gardening had more favorable attitudes towards consuming local fruits and
vegetables, and were more willing to try new fruits and vegetables than students that
reported no prior experience with gardening and farming.
● Improving Social Capital: Planting Justice, a nonprofit organization in Oakland, CA, uses
urban agriculture as a tool for the formerly incarcerated to find meaningful work that pays
a living wage. Since its inception in 2011, 100% of program graduates have successfully
stayed out of prison (Deane, 2017). Bridgeport could benefit from more robust
agriculture programming for residents who were formerly incarcerated, such as the
Mayor’s Initiative for Re-Entry Affairs (MIRA).
● Opportunities for Job Creation: Currently, Green Village Initiative employs 3 full-time
staff to work with school gardens, community gardens, youth leaders, and manage
Reservoir Community Farm; in addition, 15 part-time, seasonal farm jobs have been
created. 12 of these 15 positions are occupied by high school students who might
otherwise seek out-of-town employment. Skills developed include farming, leadership
and training others, customer service and sales, and strategic thinking.
● Building Community Resilience to Climate Change: Urban agriculture has been linked to
increasing rainwater drainage, and reducing the risk of flooding, groundwater
contamination, and depletion of groundwater levels (Kim, Palmer, & Santo, 2016). As
such, it can assist the administration in fulfilling the obligations of a nearly $40 million
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant that the City received in
2014 “for flood protection to guard against rising tides, coastal storms and the impact of
climate change.” (Mayor’s Office, City of Bridgeport Website, 2017). Additionally, urban
agriculture can sequester carbon (soil harnesses carbon and carbon dioxide), from
polluted and car-dense environments such as Bridgeport (Okvat, Zautrat, 2011).
Why a Master Plan: Currently, urban agriculture activities in Bridgeport are limited in long-term
sustainability. A clearly stated long-term plan adopted by the City will provide clarity and
direction for the community and encourage investment of time and resources toward long-term
upkeep of sites. This creates stronger partnerships between the City of Bridgeport, the
gardening community, and the organizations working with growers, and clearer processes for
resource procurement. A long-term plan creates the framework for the community to depend
upon and further develop urban agriculture in Bridgeport. A unified vision and framework that
protects and sustains urban agriculture will have a significant impact on the ability of thousands
of individuals to conveniently grow and access food for their families.
Green Village Initiative
Green Village Initiative | 325 Lafayette Street #9101, Bridgeport, CT 06604 | (203) 227-5320 | www.gogvi.org
Green Village Initiative is a non-profit organization whose mission is to grow food, knowledge, leadership and
community through urban gardening and farming, to create a more just food system in Bridgeport.
Process:
The Urban Agriculture Subcommittee of the Bridgeport Food Policy Council has been working
together for the past year to develop strategies for further development and sustainability of
urban agriculture in Bridgeport. We are seeking a third party consultant to work closely with the
subcommittee and the City of Bridgeport to draft and finalize an Urban Agriculture Master Plan
that reflects the Bridgeport community’s vision, desires and needs.
The Consultant will report to a Steering Committee, consisting of members of the Urban
Agriculture Subcommittee of the Bridgeport Food Policy Council, representatives of the City of
Bridgeport and partner organizations, community members and neighborhood representatives.
The Consultant will report to the Steering Committee through:
• In-person meetings, monthly.
• Phone meetings (with key Steering Committee contacts from GVI and the City of
Bridgeport), every other week.
• Email, as needed.
The Urban Agriculture Master Plan for the city of Bridgeport will be developed through a
grassroots process. This requires gleaning suggestions directly from the community via partner
organizations and neighborhood residents, including through public outreach meetings. The
Subcommittee will assist in securing meeting locations (considering childcare), and conducting
outreach for meetings. GVI and other organizations will provide refreshments for meetings.
We anticipate 6 to 8 public outreach community meetings over the course of this project. This
will consist of both:
• Planning and conducting meetings focused solely on this project; and
• Being added to previously planned community meetings as an agenda item.
Steering committee meetings can be scheduled to align with public outreach meetings to reduce
travel costs.
Deliverables:
1. Urban Agriculture Master Plan for the city of Bridgeport
2. Action Strategy and Recommendations for implementation of the Master Plan
Green Village Initiative
Green Village Initiative | 325 Lafayette Street #9101, Bridgeport, CT 06604 | (203) 227-5320 | www.gogvi.org
Green Village Initiative is a non-profit organization whose mission is to grow food, knowledge, leadership and
community through urban gardening and farming, to create a more just food system in Bridgeport.
Scope of Work:
1. Draft, revise, and finalize an Urban Agriculture Master Plan for the city of Bridgeport with
policies, goals and objectives.
a. Glean and track community input through:
i. Working with partner organizations to present and glean input during
meetings with their constituents (e.g. Make the Road; Bridgeport
Neighborhood Trust).
ii. Holding open forums for public input, at various partner organizations’
locations.
iii. Holding meetings in several neighborhoods.
b. Advise on outreach strategy and marketing materials (such as flyers) created by
Steering Committee.
i. The Steering Committee and the Bridgeport Food Policy Council will get
the word out via partner networks, posting flyers, etc.
ii. The Consultant should advise on best practices for marketing and
outreach.
c. Create supportive documents such as visuals and presentation materials
i. Develop handouts for the public communicating how and where urban
agriculture exists in Bridgeport and what it could look like. This could be
done through creating community profiles.
2. Establish an Action Strategy and Recommendations for implementing the Plan.
a. Develop draft recommendations for an action strategy to be implemented.
Submit a Proposal:
To submit a proposal for this project, please send the following information to Juniper
Blakeman, Americorps VISTA Service Member at the Bridgeport Food Policy Council, via email
at juniper@bptgennow.com by February 10th, 2018:
• A draft Schedule of Activities to complete the project
• A Cover Letter and Resume demonstrating experience, skills and ability necessary to
complete the project
• Budget requirements needed to fulfill the Scope of Work
Proposals will be reviewed by the Urban Agriculture Subcommittee of the Bridgeport Food
Policy Council, consisting of Green Village Initiative, Americorps VISTA Service Members, the
City of Bridgeport and local partners.
Please contact Juniper with any questions at: juniper@bptgennow.com

To apply for this job email your details to juniper@bptgennow.com