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$2.8M expansion starts at seven-acre urban farm in Rainier Beach

By Lynn Porter
Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce

The Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands is expanding so Seattle Tilth can grow more food and teach more people about urban agriculture and environmental stewardship.

The $2.8 million project at the organic farm at 5513 S. Cloverdale St. is expected to be complete in April 2017.

The farm is jointly operated by Seattle Tilth and Friends of Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands.

Berger Partnership is the landscape architect, Cast Architecture is the architect, and A1 Landscaping and Construction is the contractor.

Four greenhouses will be added on the seven-acre site, as well as a farm stand, children's garden, rain gardens and hand-crafted wetland markers. There will also be a commercial kitchen, office space, a classroom, and a circle drive for school buses, delivery vehicles and physically disabled visitors.

A new hand-crafted iron gate at Beer Sheva Park was recently installed to improve pedestrian access.

Liza Burke is communications director for the nonprofit Seattle Tilth, which manages the farm's programs and operations.

She said the farm is a engine of learning for the community — a place where people can connect to the natural world and food. “That learning is really important for people to be able to experience in the city,” she said.

Since the farm opened in 2012, 30,000 pounds of food has been grown there with help from over 2,000 volunteers, Burke said. Funding comes from individuals, United Way, PCC Natural Markets, Seattle Tilth and foundations, including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Sustainable Path Foundation and Satterberg Foundation.

Friends of Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands does funding and outreach.

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