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$270k gift from Amazon brings harvest home for Ballard P-Patch

Ballard P-Patch, a garden in the Seattle P-Patch community gardening program, has just received a gift of $270,000 from Amazon, closing the fundraising gap needed to purchase the land where the garden is sited, a half-acre in north Ballard. The land will be preserved for generations to come as a place where the public can grow food crops, learn about sustainable gardening practices, enjoy nature, and participate in community events.

The nonprofit organization, GROW, which is the fiscal sponsor of Ballard P-Patch and a land trust that holds title to six other gardens in the Seattle P-Patch program, purchased the land this fall from Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, thanks to a bridge loan with Verity Credit Union. This generous gift from Amazon assures financing of the loan in full, closes the funding gap and concludes the garden’s campaign to “Give the gnome a home.”

“Ballard P-Patch is moving forward because of the tremendous, fabulous and amazing support of a wide-range of supporters from hometown Amazon to the taxpayers of Washington and so many neighbors,” says Senator Reuven Carlyle. “It is a fabulous representation of building community and quality of life for our grandchildren’s grandchildren. I could not be more proud of this partnership for our community’s future.”

In alignment with Amazon’s philanthropic strategy to support community programs focused on immediate needs such as food security, the company has also contributed $50,000 to GROW. This gift supports GROW’s 2021 mission, which emphasizes food assistance programs and plot fee subsidies for gardeners in need.

“Ballard P-Patch has been a community anchor for Seattle for more than four decades – providing gardening, green space and myriad other benefits,” remarks Guy Palumbo, Amazon’s Director of Washington state Public Policy. “We are glad we could work with local residents, elected officials and our neighbors to help ensure this local gem continues to thrive for future generations.”

The largest portion of the garden’s $1.95 million purchase price comes from a $1.25 million Conservation Futures Tax grant, approved on Nov. 20 by King County. Council member Jeanne Kohl-Welles has been instrumental in support of the garden’s grant application. Additional public funding has come from a $250,000 Washington State Community Projects grant, with the support of Sen. Reuven Carlyle and Representatives Gael Tarleton and Noel Frame, and the citizens of Washington State.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled that the King County Council approved the $1.25 million in Conservation Futures funding for the beloved Ballard P-Patch as part of our 2021-2022 Biennial Budget,” notes Kohl-Welles. “The P-Patch is a treasure for all of Ballard and beyond. Its continuation is one of the most exciting community projects in which I have been involved as a public policymaker.”

Private foundations, local businesses and more than 500 individuals make up the remainder of the funds raised since June 2019 to “Save Ballard P-Patch” from development.

“Ballard P-Patch has long been a community gathering place fostering relationships across generations and has dedicated garden plots for the Ballard Food Bank to bring healthy local food to our food insecure neighbors,” says Seattle City Councilman Dan Strauss. “A big thank you to Our Redeemer’s congregation, King County Councilmember Kohl-Welles, the 36th Legislative District delegation, Verity Credit Union, Amazon, and all the donors and volunteers who made this possible.”

Expressing gratitude on behalf of the P-Patch community, Ballard P-Patch Leadership Chair Cindy Krueger states, “We are so grateful to have received this very generous donation from Amazon. Preserving this land and this community is a gift that will resound through the City of Seattle for generations to come.”