Built in 1975 by volunteers, the Danny Woo Community Garden is the largest green space in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. Managed by the Interim Community Development Association, the 1.5-acre site has 100 garden plots that are reserved for use by elderly, low-income, non-English-speaking immigrants.
The average age of the gardeners is 78. The garden allows them to connect with the earth and other community members, plant foods from their home countries, share food with friends and family, and get exercise. In addition to the garden plots, the hillside site has more than 60 fruit trees as well as berry bushes, picnic benches, a chicken coop, an outdoor cooking station, public art, and trails.
Over the years, programs at the garden have expanded to include classes for youth and the broader community. But due to weather conditions, much of that programming is limited to the warmer months.
In response, the Interim Community Development Association is raising funds to build a classroom, a kitchen, and garden offices in a green-certified building. The new structure will be a safe and welcoming gathering place for gardeners, children, and visitors alike and a place to teach the value of growing and eating nutritious food and passing on cultural traditions.