The City of Lakewood and Sprout City Farms are thrilled to announce a partnership to develop the Mountair Park Community Farm located in the southern portion of Mountair Park. The Mountair Park Community Farm will break ground at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18 at the park, 5620 W. 14th Ave.
The community farm grew from what is known as the 20 minute Neighborhood project, a concept that develops neighborhood improvements driven by community input that allow residents to receive the services and products they need within a 20 minute walk or bike. The planning with the community to create a 20 minute neighborhood was funded by the Denver Regional Council of Governments Sustainable Communities Initiative, and it focuses on the neighborhood surrounding the Sheridan Station on the W Line, an area identified as lacking access to fresh food.
“Residents told us clearly that a community farm would be an incredible asset to their neighborhood, and the project has come together quickly to provide residents better access to fresh food,” said Kit Botkins, director of Lakewood’s Community Resources Department, which manages and operates the city’s parks.
In addition to fresh food, the partnership will offer a variety of programs at the farm including internships, workshops, school programs, cooking demonstrations and a food donation program. Community input will guide the development of the farm’s programs during an upcoming community meeting.
Sprout City Farms is a nonprofit organization that transforms underutilized land into urban community farms. Its flagship one-acre site at the Denver Green School produces 5-6 tons of food a year and feeds more than 1,000 people. The farm also offers a wide range of community and educational opportunities. Sprout City Farms began searching for a site for its next community farm in late 2013, and Mountair Park, a small park in the heart of the Two Creeks neighborhood, is an excellent fit with Sprout City Farms’ goals of connecting community members with food production and providing access to fresh food and food education.
The farm will use one acre in the park, and Sprout City will operate it. Food grown on the farm will be distributed through a Community Supported Agriculture program. CSA membership will provide 17 weeks of a mix of produce from late June to October. Members visit the farm once a week on Thursdays to pick up their food. Sprout City Farms will also operate a farm stand with produce from the farm beginning in August.
“The Mountair Park Community Farm will be a place for us all to share the experience of reconnecting to the land and people producing our food. It’s also a living example of our saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a chard,’" said Meg Caley, Sprout City Farms director of farming and education.
Twenty paid CSA memberships are available for $200 each. In addition, five work shares are available for community members interested in helping and learning by working on the farm, allowing them to work off half the membership fee. Sprout City Farms also will offer five free memberships to income-qualified individuals in the Two Creeks neighborhood. Orders for 2014 CSA membership as well as applications for work and free memberships will be accepted starting Feb. 1 at www.sproutcityfarms.org. Questions can be directed to CSA@sproutcityfarms.org or 720-319-8126.
For more information, please contact Allison Scheck, marketing and community relations manager for Lakewood’s Community Resources Department, at 303-987-7872 or allsch@Lakewood.org.
Report: Mountair Park Community Farm
Posted on: Thursday, January 30, 2014