On Monday, June 21, 2021, the Revere City Council overwhelmingly passed the proposed Urban Farming Ordinance. The Urban Farming Ordinance was created to increase access to fresh, locally grown, wholesome foods for the residents of Revere. Revere on the Move and their local partners have established a wide and increasing variety of programs and resources for access to all food – the Urban Farming Ordinance expands the work already being done by integrating state and national policies to encourage home gardeners, commercial businesses, and non-profits to grow their own food.Revere on the Move started in 2008 and is a community-led collaboration between the City of Revere and the Revere CARES Coalition.
Revere residents have long asked for additional community gardens, urban farms, chickens, bees and more, and this Urban Farming Agenda addresses the many areas of Revere’s food economy. “I am very excited about the possibility of having chickens in my home, said Angela Walsh, Revere resident. “I really think it’s beneficial for the environment, reducing our carbon footprint, and not having to go to the store and get eggs and not know what is going into the chickens that produce the eggs.”
“The Urban Farming Ordinance has been 9 years in the making with the beginnings tied to the opening of Revere’s First Community Garden in 2012,” said Dimple Rana, Director of Community Health and Engagement and co-leader of Revere on the Move. “Revere’s history is based in our farming roots from the pig farms in West Revere and now an ordinance that fits with the current times of backyard growing, rooftop farms, vertical growing, community gardens, hydroponics and more. The benefits of urban farming help build strong communities by stimulating the economy and provide indoor and outdoor growing and distribution of healthy, fresh, local, accessible, and affordable fruits, vegetables, honey, and organic chicken eggs.”
The passing of the Urban Farming Ordinance will allow Revere residents to keep bees and chickens once the permitting process is established through the Revere Board of Health. The permitting process and oversight measures for bees and chickens must be developed before residents can legally host chickens and bees on their property.
“On behalf of Revere CARES Coalition, I thank the City Council for their progressive vision for the City of Revere and voting favorably for the Urban Farming Ordinance,” said Sylvia Chiang, Revere CARES Coalition Director. “Besides increasing access to healthy foods and stimulating the economy, such an ordinance opens other beneficial opportunities for the community in the areas of education; the environment- both aesthetics and reducing the carbon footprint; and socially- fostering integration, cohesion and bonding. This is a great day for Revere!”
The ordinance also allows for rooftop farms in residential and commercial properties, commercial farming/greenhouse, including but not limited to hydroponic and aquaponic farming is permitted on municipal land, in municipal buildings, on roofs of municipal buildings and/or in greenhouses on municipal land and formalizes the community gardens.
“This is a very exciting moment for Revere,” said Viviana Cataño, Program Manager of the Revere CARES Coalition and co-leader of Revere on the Move. “The passing of the Urban Farming ordinance will have a positive impact on our community for years to come and will expand access to the freshest food possible.”