“They need to tell us who they are, what they intend to do, and what they want to offer.”
By Laura Hayes
Washington City Paper
Nov 1, 2018
Earlier this month, the Department of General Services put out a request for proposals for two plots of land totaling 20,000 square feet as a part of D.C.’s Urban Farming Land Lease Program. Site one is on the 1600 block of Kramer St. NE between 16th and 17th streets NE in Ward 6. Site two is at Longfellow and 9th streets NW in Brightwood Park.
Passing the D.C. Urban Farming and Food Security Act of 2014 was one of the city’s first big steps in achieving its goal of a more sustainable future. The two-pronged legislation offers tax incentives to open up private land for urban farming while simultaneously identifying empty lots owned by the city for the same purpose. The former has proven challenging. As for the latter, some question why it took the city so long to convert District-owned land into fertile ground.
“We applaud the city for moving forward on opening up more city parcels for urban agriculture,” says DC Greens Executive Director Lauren Shweder Biel. DC Greens has operated one of the city’s most significant urban farms, the K Street Farm, since 2010. But that site, which abuts the Walker-Jones Education Campus, is set to become a Pepco substation in 2019.