GroWNC Regional Plan, Western North Carolina, North Carolina

Jurisdiction Name: Western North Carolina
State/Province: NC
Country: United States
Type of Government: Regional Agency
Population: 1,473,241
Population Range: 1 million or more
Policy Links: WebPDF
Policy type: plan
Year: 2013
GFC Topic: community food connections, community food production, community food security
Keywords: agricultural land preservation, environmental projects, food infrastructure, food production, healthy food access, local food access, regional agriculture, regional farms, rural, rural agriculture, sustainable agriculture, sustainable food, value-added
Adopting Government Department(s):

Land of Sky Regional Council

Lead Implementing Entity(s): LandDesign; University of North Carolina, Asheville's National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center
Support Entity(s):


Funding Amount: $1.6 million (2010-11)
Funding Sources: Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities - The Sustainable Communitites Planning Grant Program
Policy Outcome(s):

The GroWNC Regional Plan spans five counties within the western portion of North Carolina. Although the plan covers various sectors, it incorporates many initiatives around food, farming, and agriculture due to their importance in the regional economy. For example, one of the goals of the resource conservation section is the preservation of agriculture and forestry lands. Further, the goal is supported by strategies such as permitting, allocating funding for farmland protection through local sales tax, establishing utility service agreements between jurisdictions and agricultural areas for water and sewer infrastructure, and identifying and encouraging opportunities for non-timber income such as forest foods. Another goal in the resource conversation section is to support the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, a project that helps local farmers succeed by linking farmers to markets and other supports and building healthy communities through connections to food. This goal requires developing a regional agriculture infrastructure assessment, supporting research that assists the regions food production, value-added products, marketing, and branding, preserving productive farmland and soils, and establishing a goal for a percentage of food sources locally for school lunches. Lastly, the ‘Healthy Communities’ section of the plan focuses on health and diets, and emphasizes the goal of improving healthy and local food access in all communities of the region. To do so, the plan reports that there must be a: revision of local ordinances to allow for farmers’ markets, produce stands and other outlets for fresh local foods, promotion of healthy local food in lower-income and rural areas, promotion/expansion of the use of EBT to purchase food at Farmers’ Markets, and replication and expansion of the program Green Opportunities around culinary skills, gardening/food production and business opportunities to train youth.

Additional Resources and Information: Link 1