Urban Community Agriculture: Connecting Food to Land and Restoring Urban Habitat

Mobile Workshop

The first stop of this mobile workshop is Kubota Gardens and Natural Area, where you can explore the history of this Japanese American garden and its surrounding forest. Hear from Green Seattle Partnership about job training and community programming underway in the natural area. EarthCorps will share their approach to hosting stewardship events that center community needs and interests. Partner in Employment will talk about immigrant and refugee career exposure programming.
Next, explore the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetland (RBUFW) and learn about community-led urban forest stewardship and food justice efforts, Seattle’s largest urban farm, and one of the nation’s first examples of public parkland transformed for commercial urban agriculture. The farm serves as a multifaceted sustainable urban agriculture center that provides healthy food, educational programs, and economic development resources for its active community. The seven-acre site has the potential to produce over 20,000 pounds of fresh affordable produce each year for families in the Rainier Beach neighborhood who struggle with food insecurity. In this model approach to community engagement, the farm provides educational opportunities for at-risk and underserved youth; nutrition and garden education programs; green jobs training, and small business incubation– all while strengthening community relationships. Seattle Parks and Recreation along with partner organizations ECOSS, Seward Park Audubon Center and Tilth Alliance will shed light on how community members created this shared space to produce food and restore wetland habitat while creating a space for education and practice centering culturally important foods and community needs.
The tour will begin in the classroom building with an overview of the site’s history beginning with the indigenous Duwamish people, the design process, and a review of the organizations involved in its inception, current operations, and a description of the farm’s impact on the community. Explore the farm, walk through planting beds, visit greenhouses supporting agricultural operations, and stop at the wetlands to learn about their evolution and habitat. The workshop concludes at the community kitchen and farm stand, showcasing the farm’s impact on the community.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • Identify the key organizations behind the Rainier Beach Urban Farm's inception and ongoing operations, recognizing the historical significance of Rainier Beach Urban Farm, from the Duwamish people to its current status as Seattle's largest urban farm.
  • Discuss strategies for meeting neighborhood needs in park spaces, identifying key community-based organizations.
  • Give examples of programs and initiatives, including youth engagement, ecological restoration, nutrition education, and small business incubation that can be supported through Urban Community agriculture.
  • Identify Seattle’s varied and unique landscapes and outline how these ecosystems influence and support community needs.