Nonprofit’s urban farm encourages community participation in DC

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If it wasn’t inviting already, the 11th Street Bridge Park is welcoming Hopkins Community residents with a new mural.

WASHINGTON (WDVM) — If it wasn’t inviting already, an urban farm in Southeast DC is welcoming Hopkins Community residents with a new mural. The multimedia piece is nailed against a fence that surrounds the 11th Street Bridge Park, a backdrop that muralists Dietrich Williams and Mark Garrett hope will inspire kids and young adults to buy into their communities.

“If they create more in their community, maybe they’ll be more willing to come and take the herbs or maybe one of them will be willing to take the plants or the flowers, things like that,” he said. 

Nonprofit 11th Street Bridge Park’s Program Associate Destinee Johnson wanted to get the community involved in the project. “People came down and asked if we wanted a plate, they had good carpentry skills, kids wanted to paint,” Johnson said. “They have a lot of ownership over the space.” 

Johnson hopes they’ll still be involved with the farm now that the project is finished. “The biggest advantage is that it’s right in their backyard. People can pick basil and put it in their spaghetti. It’s really important for folks to be able to grow their own food. It’s fresh and it’s free.” 

This isn’t the nonprofits only urban farm; it’s also growing fresh herbs in Ward 6 and Ward 8 neighborhoods. “Hopkins Farm and all the other different farms are really pivotal in that process of having people learn how to grow food, have ownership of food, in the food growing space,” Johnson said. 

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