RELEASED FEBRUARY 6, 2017
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
DOWNING PARK URBAN FARM DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT
Newburgh Community Land Bank, in partnership with the City of Newburgh and the Downing Park Planning Committee, is seeking proposals for an individual, group or organization to undertake the full development and management of Downing Park Urban Farm as a center for urban agriculture.
ABOUT DOWNING PARK URBAN FARM
Downing Park Urban Farm (DPUF) is an evolving urban farm project designed to grow awareness of and access to healthy, sustainable foods in the City of Newburgh, NY. Through this mission, DPUF aims to inspire social and environmental change in this community. Since mid-2015, a collective effort has been underway in the City of Newburgh to coordinate and support the existing efforts around food justice, urban agriculture and community gardening in order to bring more funding, attention, and solutions to these issues. Downing Park Urban Farm will become a center of these efforts and offer a place where people come together to obtain knowledge and materials to bring back to their homes and neighborhoods.
Downing Park Urban Farm is a fenced, 2+ acre site located adjacent to Newburgh’s 36-acre Vaux & Olmstead designed Downing Park. Formerly the location of the park’s greenhouses, the site sat for decades in disrepair. The site is secured by a surrounding fence and structures at its property line. There is a loosely-paved loop drive, a small masonry & wood frame building for office/storage space (which also provides electric and water, to be maintained by the City of Newburgh or NCLB), surrounding large flat pads, and some sloping areas towards the road and the rear of the site. The past 18 months has been dedicated to ensuring the safety of the site, and the removal of old construction debris and hazardous materials. In 2016, some initial site work and programming began: a hoop house was constructed, and several workshops were held including rainwater harvesting, composting, introductory beekeeping, and garlic planting. With its location near the park, DPUF has the potential to bring new activity to and interest in Downing Park itself.
There are excellent examples around the country of youth-based urban farm projects that create personal and social change through agriculture—some of our favorites are Grow Dat Youth Farm in New Orleans and The Food Project in the Boston area. In 2017, Downing Park Urban Farm will lay the framework for a similar, appropriately-scaled program in Newburgh.
We anticipate this program to include:
- A Farm Plan that incorporates sustainable and organic methods as a cornerstone of its development.
- Development and construction of raised beds and containers for growing edible foods. Present soil conditions are not conducive to large scale in ground edible food production. Planting of ornamental or remedial plants in the soils on the site which have been tested as having high levels of some toxins.
- Education around Composting & Sustainable waste.
- Distribution of food grown to local food assistance programs alongside the formulation of a broader plan that might include income generating activities such as a Community Supported Agriculture Program, or participation in local Farmer’s Markets.
- Working with existing outreach manager, cooperating and participating in the coalition of community garden, urban agriculture and public health individuals and groups already working together toward building an urban food and agricultural framework.
- Public programming, especially geared toward youth, focusing on topics such as sustainable and organic growing methods, both community gardening and residential gardening issues, pests and weed management, or food preparation. The existing outreach manager will help with connections to local organizations and groups to recruit participants.
- Proposals must include evidence of capacity to work with a small, supportive youth employment/ mentorship program in the first year of programming.
- Demonstrated relationship(s) with City of Newburgh community based organizations is a plus.
To be considered for this opportunity, we are looking for an individual, team or organization that will propose their vision for the development and programming at Downing Park Urban Farm for March through December of this year, 2017. The following are required as part of the proposal:
Narrative Description of Project and Vision
Proposed timeline & budget for Mar. through Dec. 2017
Biographies and framework of Proposer’s team
Evidence of the skill set to execute the plan
Experience working with youths & agriculture
The Proposer must submit a narrative description and physical plan of the vision for this site, a proposed timeline and budget for March through December 2017, and concrete evidence of the skills to execute the plan. The proposal should be specific about the time requirements of the development and management of the fledgling undertaking and the amount of time someone will be on site each week as well as sample descriptions of programmatic ideas. Besides volunteer work days and the support of the outreach manager, Proposer should anticipate program staffing in the budget. Additionally, NCLB is piloting a small urban agriculture youth training program and Proposers should anticipate hosting 2-4 youth for work days during the summer. Proposers who currently manage similar projects and demonstrate a high level of administrative capacity for the project are especially encouraged.
Any required licenses (such as NYS pesticide applicator—which also applies for organic methods) associated with agriculture must be in place at project start by someone on the proposed team.
Experience working with youth and agriculture is required. The proposed timeline should extend through end of 2017 and consider that pending evaluation and funding, this is anticipated to be a project continuing in future years. The successful Proposer will have to provide evidence of insurance in an amount equal to or greater than is customarily required for similar projects or is found to be mutually acceptable.
Please see the attached Downing Park Urban Farm Site Base Map and Context Map for use in preparing your Proposal. A soil report is available upon request. Site Visits to inspect the site prior to submitting a proposal can be scheduled by contacting the Newburgh Community Land Bank (email@example.com) before February 15. 2107. Questions can also be addressed to the Land Bank email above.
Proposals are due no later than March 1, 2017 12:00PM.
by mail to:
Downing Park Urban Farm Request for Proposals
Attn.: Madeline Fletcher
15 Chambers Street
or by email as PDFs to:
subject: Downing Park Urban Farm Request for Proposals
Interviews will be conducted with those Proposers who demonstrate a high degree of capacity and shared vision. The selection of the successful Proposal will be made no later than March 22, 2017.
Starting Date will be scheduled as soon as possible thereafter.
Questions regarding the Request for Proposals, application and submittal requirements may be directed to Newburgh Community Land Bank at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time before March 1.
The site will be available for inspection for interested Proposers. To access the site, please contact Newburgh Community Land Bank at email@example.com before February 20, 2017.
This project is funded in large part through the Newburgh Community Development Block Grant Program, which is funded on a year to year basis. We are optimistic that success in 2017 will lay the groundwork for continued funding from public and private sources for a sustainable program in future years.