Terrace Planting Guide finalized and ready for use

The Madison Food Policy Council (MFPC) recently finalized an illustrated guide to planting edible, native and pollinator friendly landscapes in your yard and terrace.

Satya Rhodes-Conway, member of the MFPC and of the Edible Landscapes and Terrace Plantings Work Group,  hopes that the new illustrated guide will encourage more people to start planting and will also will educate citizens on the legality of the process.

“I want people to understand that it is legal and that there’s a world of possibilities there. It’s an opportunity to grow some food, to plant native flowers, to help support pollinator populations and to beautify your neighborhood,” Rhodes-Conway said.

Requests for plantings in terraces and public lands began in 2010 said Nan Fey, current chair of the MFPC. At the time the requests were brought before the Community Gardens Committee, but the committee had too little authority to develop these requests.

Once the MFPC was created in 2012 by Mayor Paul Soglin and the Madison Common Council, the requests for plantings in terraces and public lands were reconsidered.

A year later in 2013, the Common Council passed two ordinances, the Edible Landscapes Permit and the policy relating to street terraces, that allowed planting in residential area’s street terraces.

To implement the ordinances, the MFPC created the Edible Landscapes and Terrace Plantings Work Group.This group met with relevant city departments to develop guidelines and policies for both ordinances, said Fey. In 2015 the work group began creating public education materials to explain the ordinances and highlight opportunities for Madison residents.

The Edible Landscapes and Terrace Plantings Work Group is currently comprised of five members, Alder Ledell Zellers, Satya Rhodes-Conway, Martin Bailkey, Nathan Clarke and Nan Fey.

Rhodes-Conway, said that during the intermittent years of 2013-17 a fair number of people were already doing something in their terrace, but the city provided little to no educational information.

The new illustrated guide is written in an easy-to-read, conversational tone and highlights resources for planting as well as explains the dos and don’ts of planting in your terrace.