The original idea for RBUFW came from a group of nearby neighbors and community activists aware of the Atlantic City Nursery site’s closure and its potential to be repurposed in a green and environmentally friendly manner that will enhance the quality of life in the Rainier Beach neighborhood.  The Friends of Atlantic City Nursery, now the Friends of Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands, was formed to provide a formal structure for this grassroots effort, with officers and committees providing accountability and transparency. The idea evolved as more community members joined the effort, bringing new perspectives and experience with urban agriculture and wetlands preservation to the discussion. A public meeting held by Seattle Parks in December 2009 helped to coalesce the budding group as over 80 local residents voiced their support for the urban farm and wetlands preservation concepts. Notes from this and other meetings are available on the Parks website. This community organizing successfully resulted in the selection of the site to receive $500,000 through the Parks Levy Opportunity Fund.

In 2010 Seattle Tilth was brought on as the programmatic co-partner on site. With more than 34 years of experience, Seattle Tilth’s mission is to inspire and educate people to grow food organically, conserve natural resources, and support local food systems in order to cultivate a healthy environment and community. Seattle Tilth is a nationally recognized non-profit educational organization whose programs include community learning gardens, a robust volunteer program, classes and workshops, events, a children’s education program, the Master Composter program, the Garden Hotline, Seattle Youth Garden Works, the Seattle Tilth Farm Works and Food Hub, publications, and Community Kitchens Northwest. 

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