Ribbon cutting at Kent Community Garden (Image: Forterra/Alissabeth Newton)
VIA’s Community Design Studio staff were recently on hand for the ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony for Forterra’s new community garden at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Kent WA. This project represents a collaboration between three non-profits — Forterra, the International Rescue Committee, and Global to Local — in supporting refugees and recent immigrants to the South King County area. By developing both garden plots and gathering space, the project directly supports community health by providing access to fresh food and strengthening social connections. It also allows gardeners to grow fruits and vegetables from their countries of origin, supporting traditional diets and sharing connections to cultural roots through food.
During the design process, VIA created graphics and models to support two community outreach events, so that future gardeners could provide input on preferred sites and layouts. Once the site at St. Columba’s was finalized, VIA developed site plans that were used to lay out the individual plots. With the generous individual plot sizes, families will be able to grow a considerable amount of their annual produce needs in this beautiful new garden space.
VIA’s Community Design Studio is proud to have supported this and other projects that encourage local, collaborative food production.
If you are interested in getting involved in the garden as a volunteer, please contact the International Rescue Committee at Seattle@Rescue.org. If you are interested in supporting Forterra’s great work with a financial donation, please visit: https://forterra.org/give