The Land Access Pilot Project is an initiative to increase sustainable local food farming on public and privately owned lands in northeastern Illinois.
Land Access Pilot Project partners Liberty Prairie Foundation and Openlands
have begun developing programs and services that will open up land access opportunities
for landowners, farmers, and others in systematic ways. This project is generously funded through Food:Land:Opportunity – Localizing the Chicago Foodshed, an initiative of the The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust in partnership with Kinship Foundation.
Over the past few years, the team has conducted farm site visits, pursued land access
opportunities with public and private landowners, developed a best practices guide for
land access, researched farmlink programs across the country, built connections with land
trusts and farmer networks, and explored farmland protection strategies.
As the project progresses, we will:
We are eager to share what we’ve learned so far and explore whether there are ways we or
other partners could help you navigate land access challenges you face. We are building a
network of farmers, landowners, investors, non-profits, for-profits, and government
agencies engaged in different elements of land access. If we have the right connection for
your particular issue, we will share it. We also welcome requests to speak to groups about
this work and the importance of expanding local sustainable food farming.