(1) The Legislature finds and declares that:
(a) Community gardens provide significant health, educational, and social benefits to the general public, especially for those who reside in urban and suburban areas of this state;
(b) The community garden movement (i) continues to provide low-cost food that is fresh and nutritious for those who may be unable to readily afford fresh fruits and vegetables for themselves or their families, (ii) promotes public health and healthier individual lifestyles by encouraging better eating habits and increased physical activity by growing food, (iii) fosters the retention and expansion of open spaces, particularly in urban environments, (iv) enhances urban and suburban environmental quality and community beautification, (v) provides inexpensive community building activities, recreation, and physical exercise for all age groups, (vi) establishes a safe place for community involvement and helps to reduce the incidence of crime, (vii) engenders a closer relationship between urban residents, nature, and the local environment, and (viii) fosters green job training and ecological education at all levels; and
(c) It is the public policy of this state to promote and foster growth in the number of community gardens and the acreage of such gardens.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature and the purpose of the Community Gardens Act to foster growth in the number, size, and scope of community gardens in this state by encouraging state agencies, municipalities, and private parties in their efforts to promote community gardens.