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 1,100 unique volunteers
- 22,000 sq. ft. of asphalt de-paved
- 50 raised beds, including ADA accessible plots
- 4 cisterns for up to 16,000 gallons of rainwater catchment
- Over 800,000 gallons of stormwater diverted
"Reclaiming Home" Rain Garden will include native plant species reminiscent of gardeners' home lands. Construction will begin in Spring 2019.
Flood Mitigating Food Forest with Bioswale will include food-bearing trees and shrubs, and will mitigate a year-round spring seep which causes flooding in winter months. Construction will begin in Summer 2019.
Current needs also include:
Fencing around the plot to mitigate vandalism and wildlife grazing
Motion activated solar lighting for additional nighttime security
Protective cages for cistern pumps and power sources
A welcome sign and signage throughout the garden
An in-garden community communication board
Stay posted on current events and needs by following Hillside Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden on Facebook!
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: