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Seattle Parks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
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Small green leaves sprout out of the dirt in black round containers arranged in rows.

Hydroponic Community Garden at South Park Community Center

Installing growing walls at the South Park Community Center so residents can have fresh, leafy greens year-round as they develop skills and strengthen community

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Project Description

The South Park community is in a food desert, which the USDA defines as any census tract where at least 20% of residents live below the poverty line and at least 33% live more than a mile from a supermarket. A new supermarket wouldn’t necessarily change people’s nutritional behavior, but studies show that community gardeners and their children adopt healthier diets than non-gardening families. This project will provide residents with access to hydroponic equipment to grow their own leafy greens year-round at the South Park Community Center. The community center currently serves meals to local residents, and the fresh greens produced at the growing walls will add a significant source of nutritious food. Surplus produce could be donated to the nearby Providence Regina House food and clothing bank, which serves about 500 families.

Community gardening can bring children closer to nature; spark an interest in nutrition, farming, environmental sustainability, and earth sciences; cultivate business, leadership, and other skills; and provide a place to interact in a socially meaningful and productive way. The garden will help build a sense of community identity and bring together people from a wide variety of backgrounds. It can also be made accessible to wheelchair users.

  • Students harvesting hydroponic lettuce! "It tastes like regular lettuce. Actually it tastes better.”