Green Needham is encouraging Needham residents to attend an important meeting that could affect the future of the Needham Community Farm (NCF). On Tuesday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Powers Hall, the Needham Select Board will hold a public hearing on the present and future uses of the Ridge Hill Reservation and of the Nike Site, where the NCF is located.
In 2018, the Town commissioned a consulting firm to create an assessment of a 223-acre portion of the Ridge Hill Reservation, including the 18-acre Nike Site. You can download a copy of the assessment here.
The Needham Community Farm currently has a license from the Select Board for use of approximately 3 acres of the Nike Site. With the possibility for other uses of the site, NCF is concerned that its existence is at risk.
Founded 10 years ago, the Needham Community Farm aims to help fight food insecurity and promote environmental education in the community. Over the years, NCF has distributed tens of thousands of pounds of fresh, sustainably grown vegetables through the Needham Community Council Food Pantry and at Needham Housing Authority locations. Their bi-weekly drop-offs supply more than 60 % of the total fresh produce received by the Needham Food Pantry.
At the same time, hundreds of residents, adults and youth, have learned about organic and sustainable growing through classes and events at the Farm. Through these educational programs, NCF teaches that how vegetables are grown matters to our health and the environment.
Green Needham encourages citizens and the Select Board to focus on and prioritize sustainable long-term uses that add value to our community. All possible uses should be evaluated and designed to be maximally sustainable. The thriving Needham Community Farm is an exemplar for this approach.
Please attend the meeting to inform yourself about possible uses of the Nike Site and let your views be known.
By using this link you may send your thoughts directly to the Select Board in case you are unable to attend or do not get a chance to speak at the hearing.