The Seattle Parks Foundation recently launched a $1.35 million capital campaign to provide the additional funding needed to build all the major elements envisioned for the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands. The community initiated project will be completed in one construction phase and is projected to begin in September 2014, after the growing season is over at the farm.
Initiated by Rainier Beach residents, the project received initial funding through the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund. “Originally, we planned to build the farm in phases, but soon recognized the value of completing the project as a single phase,” said Harry Hoffman, co-chair of Friends of Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands. “So we reached out to the Seattle Parks Foundation to help manage a capital campaign to raise the necessary funding.”
Andrea Dwyer, Executive Director of Seattle Tilth, said “We have received tremendous support from the community and because of the success of the capital campaign so far, the project will now be completed in a single major construction phase.”
A transformational schematic plan was developed during 2012 to envision the former Atlantic City Nursery as an urban farm. The plan includes an organic farm, a children’s learning garden, greenhouses, orchards, apiaries, and chicken coops. The plan also allows the farm to be a gathering place for the community with space for outdoor and indoor classes, a fresh produce stand, protected wetlands, park amenities and a connection to the existing Beer Sheva Park. The farm will bring diverse community members together to learn, play, and enjoy. Ultimately, the farm will engage 5,000 community members and produce more than 20,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables annually to be distributed primarily to Rainier Valley residents.
The vision is coming to life through a great partnership between many inspired parties and community members. The key partners are:
- Seattle Parks and Recreation works with all citizens to be good stewards of our environment, and to provide safe and welcoming opportunities to play, learn, contemplate and build community. They seek opportunities to partner with organizations with common core values.
- Friends of Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands is a committed group of neighborhood residents who created the vision for the project and secured the initial commitment of public funds. They have mobilized hundreds of community members, generated excitement and support throughout the city, and are leading efforts to secure additional public resources.
- Seattle Tilth is a regional leader in building a better, more sustainable food system including opportunities for immigrants, refugees, and low-income people to start microenterprises in the local food economy. They manage day-to-day programs and operations at the farm.
- Seattle Parks Foundation advocates and raises funds for community-led public space projects in Seattle. They are leading the capital campaign to raise $1.35 million in private dollars to help fund the capital improvements at the Farm in addition to the funds noted below. To donate or for additional stories and information please visit http://seattleparksfoundation.org/current-projects-rainier-beach-urban-farm-and-wetlands/
Funding for the project has been secured from many sources as follows:
- $500,000 Parks and Green Spaces Levy Opportunity Fund
- $50,000 Department of Neighborhoods Matching Grant
- $300,000 State Capital Budget
- $300,000 City of Seattle 2014 Budget
- $570,000 Total private funds raised to date by Seattle Parks Foundation
For more information about the project, please visit: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/projects/atlantic_city/nursery.htm
If you have questions, please contact project manager Kim Baldwin at email@example.com or 206-615-0810.