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DC Greens Plans Urban Farm in Ward 8

by Nena Perry-Brown

Aerial rendering of The Well at Oxon Run. Click to enlarge.

As efforts continue to expand food access east of the Anacostia River, a nonprofit is working on a solution.

Health equity and food access organization DC Greens is partnering with the Friends of Oxon Run, the Green Scheme, and DC Department of Parks and Recreation to create a new urban farm in Ward 8 off the Oxon Run tributary. The Well at Oxon Run will occupy roughly 50,000 square feet at 300 Valley Avenue SE (map) and will provide space to grow up to 150 varieties of fresh produce, herbs and edible flowers for community use. The site will also include recreation space, as well as space for community gatherings and programmed events. 

Aerial of current site, from Google Maps. Click to enlarge.

"We have heard directly from Ward 8 residents that they desire healthy, active green space that can contribute to improved social connections and well-being," DC Greens Development Director Abby Bonder Bluestone told UrbanTurf. "There is now a 17-year difference in life expectancy between residents of Ward 8 in Southeast DC and residents of Ward 3 in Northwest DC due predominantly to diet-related chronic illnesses like diabetes, hypertension. Community health is comprised of more than simply blood pressure and glucose levels and we know from ten years of successful programming experience that food and agriculture are powerful tools for bringing communities together in healthy and positive ways."

Rendering of "The Porch" just outside The Well. Click to enlarge.

SHoP Architecture worked on designs for the site pro bono, and the group is currently launching a fundraising campaign to raise up to $1 million for construction and other first-year costs.

Most recently, DC Greens ran the K Street Farm at New Jersey Avenue and K Street NW, which was turned over to Pepco for a substation. The K Street Farm produced 2,500-3,000 pounds of produce annually; the new farm is expected to have comparable output.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc-greens-plans-urban-farm-at-oxon-run/16168