This vacant City property is one step closer to becoming a thriving urban agriculture site

Sacramento is one step closer to turning a vacant City-owned property into a site for urban agriculture.

The City recently signed a lease agreement with the non-profit Planting Justice for the former City Tree Nursery, a five-acre site in the Mangan Park neighborhood, with the goal of project construction and opening in 2021.

“This effort will increase community food access and advance equity and environmental justice,” said City Sustainability Manager Jennifer Venema.

The former City Tree Nursery includes a greenhouse and land formerly used for landscaping operations. The City previously used the site to grow many of its annual and perennial plants and tree stock, but the site has been mostly vacant since 2008.

In July 2020, the City entered into a lease agreement with Planting Justice at a discounted rate of $1 per year. Planting Justice is a non-profit based out of Oakland that has also partnered with local enterprises Yisrael Family Urban Farm and Three Sisters Gardens.

According to Venema, the three non-profits propose to transform the property into a nationally significant center for urban agriculture, social entrepreneurship, biodiversity, youth mentorship and farmer training.

“Together, the goals of this coalition are to create living-wage green jobs, youth employment opportunities, urban agriculture on-boarding and training, a variety of educational opportunities for sustainability and health, and healthy food access for years to come,” Venema said.

The site will support a vegetable, herb and flower farm, youth mentorship and culinary/farm mentorship programs, and a production nursery for Planting Justice’s existing organic plant nursery.

The project will also include a local farm stand and opportunities for the community to get involved.

Currently, Planting Justice and the project team are fundraising, applying for permits and preparing the site with the goal of opening next year.