Pickering Barn garden gets $19,000 grant for upgrade

February 14, 2012

By Staff

The city has received a $19,000 grant from the King Conservation District to improve the Pickering Barn Demonstration Garden — a showcase for organic gardening and a source for the local food bank.

In addition to garden upgrades, officials intend to use grant dollars to improve the site and add more educational components. Seattle Tilth, a regional leader in sustainable organic gardening and public education in natural yard care practices, oversees the garden’s education component.

Plans call for the expanded education component to operate alongside the Issaquah School District and the municipal Parks & Recreation Department. The school district program aims to provide in-classroom teaching, teacher training and transportation for schoolchildren from campuses to the garden. The program through the parks department calls for classes in the garden for after-school community programs. The grant is meant to help transport children to the garden for the program.

Officials said the upgrades to the garden could also benefit the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank. The demonstration garden produced more than 2,000 pounds of food for the nonprofit organization in recent years.

In a unanimous decision Jan. 26, City Council members accepted the grant. City Resource Conservation Office staffers applied for the grant in October.

The conservation district administers similar projects and programs in many communities.

In recent years, the district infused more than $320,000 into the project to restore a key stretch along Issaquah Creek in Squak Valley Park North. The district also offered a series of workshops dedicated to eco-conscious housekeeping and landscaping.

In addition to Issaquah, the district includes all of King County except for Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific and Skykomish.

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