Creating an Urban Garden in White Center

Typically, a loading dock space is where the dumpster, dead leaves and strewn trash are found. But at Sea Mar Community Health Center in White Center, the staff envisioned a garden pocket park where clients could grow fresh, healthy food.

Sea Mar Community Health Center is located in the heart of South King County’s White Center neighborhood in a building that was previously a grocery store. Sea Mar staff wanted to create a demonstration garden in the former loading dock and contacted KCD’s Community Agriculture Crew for technical and implementation assistance. Building on the existing three wooden raised beds, four 6-foot-long galvanized stock tanks were added, and a Planting Party was held on Saturday, May 19, 2018, to introduce the garden to neighbors, clinic staff and patients.

Over 40 people turned out to plant out a variety of vegetables and herbs, learn how to properly water, identify pests and weeds and beautify the garden with a chalk mural.

Everyone that attended the Planting Party is excited for summer harvests of their favorite foods. Sea Mar Community Health Center will be holding cooking classes this summer and will be using the veggies and herbs from the garden. Community members accessing the clinic will also be encouraged to harvest from the garden when they come for appointments.

Sea Mar Community Health Clinic’s commitment to improving their clients access to fresh, healthy foods prompted them to take what was once an underutilized space and turn it into a community asset.  Do you have space at your office, housing complex or place of worship that could be used to provide an opportunity to grow food?  If so, let’s formulate a plan that will bring nutritious fruits and vegetables closer to home.

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