City invests in urban agriculture projects in 2013
SEATTLE - Mayor McGinn announced today the creation of additional space for community gardening and urban agriculture in the city. Approximately 185 P-Patch community garden plots will be developed or made available, along with 14,500 square feet of land dedicated to large tract gardening.
"Fresh, organic food is important to our health and to the environment," said McGinn. "And in addition to serving as a gathering place, our P-Patches build community among gardeners and neighbors. We are pleased to invest in this opportunity to help grow the program and serve more community members."
The city is providing these opportunities by investing $427,000 of inflationary funds that were not spent as part of the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy. The funds will be used to add approximately 115 new community garden plots, create two urban agriculture sites on city-owned land in Squire Park, and double the size of the Marra Farm Large Tract Project to provide additional gardening space for three low-income farmers. In addition, existing P-Patch plots will be resized in 13 P-Patch community gardens to provide gardening opportunities for 70 families.
"The P-Patch perfectly embodies community building," said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. "With your neighbors, you're able to roll up your sleeves and get to work. You plant the seeds, work hard, and see the fruits of your labor. In this case, literally!"
"There is a high demand for locally grown food in Seattle," said Councilmember Richard Conlin. "It is great for our community that we can expand opportunities for urban gardeners and farmers and continue to strengthen the P-Patch Program."
In 2008, voters approved the Parks and Green Spaces Levy which earmarked $2 million to build four additional P-Patch community gardens. Through significant community involvement, leveraging of funds, and support from other city departments, the P-Patch Project will have completed 17 new gardens and expanded five existing gardens by 2014.
This announcement is a direct result of the actions detailed in the Seattle Food Action Plan, announced earlier this year. The plan lays out steps for City government to take in our departments, programs, and policies to achieve four goals: Healthy Food for All, Grow Local, Strengthen the Local Economy, and Prevent Food Waste.
As the largest municipally-managed community gardening program outside of New York City, the P-Patch Community Gardening Program manages 81 gardens with 2650 plots and serves 6100 gardeners across the city. The P-Patch gardens serve as neighborhood gathering places that strengthen networks through cooperative ventures; provide a source of pride among residents; are a visible product of land stewardship and create a healthier urban environment, in addition to providing fresh organic food for gardeners and local food banks.
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