Home to the University of Kansas and the City of Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas is in the midst of developing a thriving local food and urban agriculture movement.
In 2010, the county formed a Food Policy Council to identify opportunities, challenges and benefits for a sustainable local food system.
Eileen Horn, sustainability coordinator for Douglas County and the City of Lawrence, serves on the Council with 24 others, including farmers, representatives from food retail establishments, Kansas State University Extension, Lawrence Public Schools, the Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market and the Douglas County Health Department.
Horn is especially proud of one of the Council’s initiatives, the Common Ground Program in Lawrence, which began in 2012. Its objective is to transform “food deserts” and other underutilized land, often located in low-income areas, into food production plots.