The Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden is a public space that exists to empower refugees, immigrants, and the local community to improve food access, build community, and foster economic independence. The garden is also a practice of environmental stewardship through the incorporation of a depaved parking lot, rain gardens, and water catchment into the garden design. By the end of capital improvements, the garden will be cleaning and diverting over a million gallons of stormwater each year!
Your gift today will help grow this space of nutrition, community, empowerment, and stewardship.
Planting in a food desert
Many areas through South King County fall within the USDA classification of a "food desert", or a place where more than a third of the population has no car and is more than a mile from a grocery store. Refugee and immigrant populations can be disproportionally affected by food deserts due to the location of affordable housing and lack of access to transportation. Many also live in multifamily households that rely on a single income, making it difficult to purchase enough food that is healthy and familiar for themselves and their families.
After conversations with representatives from the community, an overwhelming ask was for a space to grow culturally appropriate food, build relationships, and connect with the soil in their new community. Thus, the idea for an accessible community gardening space was born!
Hillside Church--centrally located on transit lines within easy access for much of Kent's immigrant community--generously donated a 1-acre under-used and often-flooded parking lot for us to plant roots. Over the course of 2017, Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden quickly became a reality with:
Over 1,500 volunteers over the life of the project
30,000 sq. ft. of asphalt de-paved
50 raised beds, including handicap-accessible plots
4 cisterns able to store up to 16,000 gallons of rainwater catchment
Over 800,000 gallons of stormwater diverted
2019 King County Green globe award recipients
The Green Globe Award is awarded biannually to organizations who are leaders in local environmental efforts. We were honored to receive the 2019 award this year from the King County Executive, Dow Constantine. Check out this write up of Paradise Parking Plots along with the 12 other amazing organizations who received recognition.
recent & Future additions
Reclaiming Home Rain gardens
We worked with local refugee youth to design one of the largest rain gardens in South King County. These creative kids decided to name the rain garden “Reclaiming Home” after choosing plants that reminded them of the places they have left behind.
Community-Designed Food Forest and Bioswale
The Flood Mitigating Food Forest with Bioswale is a feature designed by the community over the course of 3 consecutive meetings. Upon comlpletion, the bioswlae will capture thousands of gallons of stormwater annually, decrease local flooding issues, and increase refugee food access. Construction is slated to being during the summer of 2020.
MEet Our Gardeners
Photo Cred: Esmeralda Manjarrez
Interested in joining? Become a Garden Partner!
Interested in becoming an individual all-star volunteer or helping out with a garden project as a group? Email Liz with with your interests and availability or check our events page or follow us on Facebook for upcoming work days.
Your financial contribution improves the garden by assisting gardeners with renting plots, financing infrastructure improvements, purchasing plants and seeds, and maintaining the space as a hub for community and empowerment.
Do you have specific skills or material donations to offer? We'd love to hear your ideas! Email Lucas about your interest in giving of your materials, equipment, or talent.
Your gift is an investment in the inherent resiliency of refugees and immigrants and will be used to grow community through spaces like the Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden.
Thanks to all our community partners including: