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Ballard P-Patch land bought by GROW, fundraising run scheduled to help pay loan

On Aug. 31, title for the Ballard P-Patch property transferred from Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church to the nonprofit organization GROW Northwest for $1.95 million. GROW, which owns or co-owns six other properties in Seattle’s P-Patch program, now owns the 1.66-acre parcel. Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods continues to manage the community garden.

A bridge loan, secured through Verity Credit Union, allowed the purchase to close in a timely fashion, prior to King County Council’s official approval of the garden’s application for a $1.25 million Conservation Futures Tax grant. A motion passed by King County Council in March indicates that the CFT grant will be fully funded when the Council makes its vote this fall.

Some $300,000 remains to be raised, to cover the difference between funds already raised and the CFT grant, which is contingent on matching funds. Ballard P-Patch must pay off the loan within two years.

“We are so grateful to Jeanne Kohl-Welles and her staff, to our entire Washington State Legislative team, and to each and every one of our volunteers who have pitched in to make this seemingly impossible project a reality,” effused Ballard P-Patch co-chair Cindy Krueger in email to the garden membership last week.

GROW’s long-term goal is to preserve the land as open space, operated as a community garden and open to the public.

Gardeners in the P-Patch program pay a yearly fee to maintain garden plots, and volunteers at Ballard P-Patch host community events, educate about sustainable gardening practices, and grow organic produce that supplies area food banks and senior center feeding programs. P-Patch sites have also been designated as community emergency hubs throughout the city – gathering places in cases of emergencies such as earthquake or fire.

To help complete their fundraising, Ballard P-Patch is holding a virtual fun run Sept. 25-27. The event is a 5k that participants complete on a route of their choosing. Sign up to participate here. Donations can also be made anytime at saveballardppatch.org.

For more information about Ballard P-Patch, visit their website at ballardppatch.org.