The Bridge Park Plots are six currently active farms and gardens in Southeast DC, five in ward 8 and one in ward 6, buffering the (future) 11th Street Bridge Park. Starting in Spring of 2016 each plot was built in partnership with a faith community, early childhood learning center or public housing resident community at the request of community leadership. One of the greatest desires expressed repeatedly in the 1,000+ community meetings the 11th St Bridge Park team hosted to insure an inclusive bridge park design, was for urban agriculture and green spaces through community gardens. The bridge park plots are the fruits of the Bridge Park’s equitable development labor.
Ujima Urban Farm, EST. Spring 2016 | Union Temple Baptist Church, 1225 W St SE, Washington, DC | The UT Ujima Urban Farm is a hands-on opportunity for Union Temple members and the surrounding community to learn the art and science of urban agriculture. Ujima is a Swahili word meaning communalism, a reflection of the Afro-centric values and grounding of Union Temple’s ministry. Ujima Urban Farm is the largest Bridge Park Plot with more than 90 raised beds accompanied by 12 fruits trees. Check out Ujima Urban Farm’s Facebook page to learn more.
Baby Bloomers’ Farm & Orchard, EST. Summer 2017 | The National Children’s Center, 3400 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC | National Children’s Center, Inc. (NCC) is a 501©3 non-profit organization that is one of the region’s largest non-governmental providers of services for the developmentally disabled, offering an array of services to infants, children and adults in the Washington metropolitan area. Their ward 8 site being primarily an Early Learning Center, is home to our second largest plot in the Bridge Park network with 65 beds and 14 fruit trees. NCC’s chef Nelson Molina regularly uses food grown on Baby Bloomers’ farm in school lunches and parent/teacher events, and has been the head chef in preparing our annual Taste of the Harvest dinner. We are looking forward to continuing our CSA with NCC families and expanding its reach within the surrounding community through their forth-coming pop-up food stand.
Hopkins Sustainable Farm & Orchard, EST. Spring 2018 | Hopkins Housing Complex, 1430 L St SE, Washington, DC | This is our newest Bridge Park Plot and the third largest with 45 beds and 25 fruit trees. Through a series of wellness programs leading up to 2018’s Taste of the Harvest dinner festival, including food tastings, yoga and Capoeira on the farm, Hopkins residents have begun to engage with their farm and take ownership.
Garden of Grace, EST. Spring 2016 | Bethel Christian Fellowship, 2220 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC | This site is a charming garden plot and our smallest with only 11 beds. Garden of Grace provides an otherwise rare opportunity for the children who attend the early learning center at Bethel to learn about plants and where food comes from. In addition, the gardeners at BCF share their produce with congregants through their pop-up food market and church-related events.
Garden of Eden, EST. Summer 2017 | Allen Chapel AME Church, 2498 Alabama Ave SE, Washington, DC | This site is comprised of nine raised beds (soon to be 15 raised beds!) and 14 fruit trees. The Garden of Eden, its name inspired by the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, strives to embody paradise as described in the Bible. The gardeners of Eden grow flowers, fruits and vegetables, but focus more on growing herbs and medicinal plants both to provide seasonings to go along with the food shared through Allen Chapel Food Pantry, and in an effort to provide herbal products to support healing from common conditions plaguing the surrounding community.
Barracks Grow Garden, EST. 2016 | National Community Church, 535 8th St SE, Washington, DC | This was our first Bridge Park Plot in Ward 6, located in the historic Barracks Row neighborhood. The National Community Church partnered with Cultivate the City to install vertical tower gardens of herbs and other edible crops to complement the raised beds we built with them. Food grown at this site was distributed as part of a school-based Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Since the Barracks Grow lot is set to be developed into condominiums, BBAR Farms ceased engagement with this garden in 2018.
Garden of Hope, EST. 2016 | Wayne Place Transitional Youth Residence, 165 Mississippi Avenue, SE, Washington, DC | Comprised of 16 raised beds and 4 fruit trees, this plot site is operated by DC Child and Family Services for youth transitioning out of the foster care system. Wayne Place works to provide its residents with higher education, employment opportunities and training for a smooth transition into independent, productive adulthood. BBAR Farms contributes to this effort by offering a pathway into urban agriculture careers starting with gardening activities right in residents’ back yard.