When you think of Rainier Beach, urban farming is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. A group of local community members organized as the Friends of Atlantic City Nursery have been working for months to change that perception by advocating that Seattle Parks and Recreation convert the closed Atlantic City Nursery on S. Cloverdale Street north of Beer Sheva Park into the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands Restoration Project.
The core idea of this project is transforming the existing horticulture buildings for productive and sustainable food-growing to provide healthy food for local food banks and school programs along with job training and youth education opportunities. Just as importantly, the project calls for restoring the acres of wetlands on the site and making them come alive again with native flora and fauna.
On June 30th, Parks showed they've been listening to the many community voices calling for this project when they unveiled a concept plan that includes both an urban farm utilizing the existing greenhouses and growing spaces and the restoration of the acres of Class IV wetlands at the 10-acre site.
The advocacy work isn't done yet; the Parks Board of Commissioners are holding a public hearing on Thursday August 12th at Parks HQ 100 Dexter Avenue N. - doors open at 6:00 pm for sign-up and the hearing begins at 7:00 pm. Please come down and show your support for this future gem of South Seattle.
If you can't attend the public hearing, you can still help make this idea bloom by sending your written testimony in support to the Commissioners (they read every comment).
Send your email to: Sandy Brooks at vog.elttaes|skoorb.ydnas#vog.elttaes|skoorb.ydnas or mail/deliver a message to:
100 Dexter Avenue. N.
Seattle, WA 98109-5199
What should you say? In your own words, share that:
1. Converting the existing nursery to a neighborhood-appropriate urban farm is the best future use of the existing Atlantic City Nursery facilities.
2. Restoring the many wetlands areas at the Atlantic City Nursery as protected wildlife habitat with native plants is the right way to steward this major portion of our local ecosystem.
The deadline for written comments is September 2nd, a few days before the Parks Commissioners make their recommendation for the future of the Atlantic City Nursery to the Parks Superintendent - sending them in before August 6th will ensure they are part of the public hearing process.
Questions? Contact the Friends of Atlantic City Nursery at moc.liamg|ganabrubr#moc.liamg|ganabrubr.