The University’s Main Station farm is proposed to be developed for commercial use and was approved by the Reno Planning Commission last night to be returned back to the City Council for consideration. The following email was sent to farm supporters by the Great Basin Community Food Co-op, which is among dozens of organizations protesting the University’s plan to develop a large portion of the farm land along McCarran Boulevard.
Farm land in this country could be classified as endangered. In the last 20 years, much farmland has been turned into neighborhoods, shopping malls, and warehouses, because as a general rule, farmland is on flat ground that is easy to develop.
The last decade, though, has seen the rising desire and need for locally grown foods, mainly because of the fresh taste, lesser impact on the environment (in particular fossil fuels), and the opportunity to support local economies and meeting the farmer that grows your food.
The administration at UNR wishes to rezone and sell 104 acres of farmland at the Main Station Field Lab located at McCarran and Mill, the last remaining big-acreage and thus endangered agricultural land in our City. This acreage is part of the land grant university that has a function to provide land for research and education of agricultural crops and practices, and serves to support both our rural and urban communities.
These 104 acres also lie in the flood plain, thereby serving as much-needed area for water storage in times of floods, such as the 1997 and 2005 floods, which were classified as 100 year floods. Development in surrounding areas has caused this shift in flood waters, including inundating houses in surrounding neighborhoods. The City of Reno also has a mission to serve its citizens, and this case falls under their purpose of protecting citizens in emergency situations.
Lastly, the 104 parcel is also located near Wolf Pack Meats, which is at risk of being negatively impacted (and potentially closed) by this rezoning proposal. the UNR administration has requested to rezone the acreage to commercial/industrial, which would allow warehouse development in the flood plain.
Many local citizens working to help save UNR Farms envision Main Station Field Lab as an ideal location to create the community’s food security hub. We believe that UNR should hold to its premise to serve the community and provide agricultural research and education to support local agriculture for Nevada. This land has ample well water allotment and the best soils for growing food of the total 1,000+ acreage at Main Station Field Lab. Creating a signature agriculture education program, Master Gardeners’ demonstration garden, and high desert specialty crop research fields is a smarter and more sustainable solution for the last remaining farm land in our area. Please see below about the last two meetings which will weigh in the UNR Main Station Farm fate and be sure to sign the in-store petition!
SIGN THE IN-STORE “Petition to Preserve the Main Station Farm as a flood plane and educational resource for sustainable agriculture by supporting open space zoning designation”
Come down to the co-op and be an advocate for the UNR Main Station Farm. Our goal is to gather at least 500 signatures before the City Council hearing on January 30th, 2013. the petition is located at the main register by the front door of the Great Basin Community Food Co-op at 240 Court St. Reno, NV 89501.
You can also call or send your council members an email telling them that you don’t want them to rezone the 104 acres at UNR Main Station Farm:
Reno City Council
PO Box 1900
Reno, NV 89505