WTD?

What's the Deal With: The York Community Farm?

Community eyesore turned community asset
August 3, 2022 at 5:45 a.m.
The York Community Farm began in 2013 as a way to make something useful out of a patch of abandoned grass owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Today the garden grows pounds of fruits and vegetables, houses nearly a dozen chickens and provides educational and vocational opportunities for the community.
The York Community Farm began in 2013 as a way to make something useful out of a patch of abandoned grass owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Today the garden grows pounds of fruits and vegetables, houses nearly a dozen chickens and provides educational and vocational opportunities for the community. (Nolan Baker/Cascadia Daily News)

By NOLAN BAKER
Staff Reporter

Tucked against the cacophonous, 15-foot-high walls of Interstate 5 on James Street in Bellingham’s York neighborhood once was a derelict, 3/4-acre parcel of Washington State Department of Transportation land. Now sits a vibrant, productive, solar-powered farm.

Beginning in 2013, the York Community Farm was developed from a patch of weeds and litter into not only a home for dozens of hens, thousands of square feet of produce and home to plenty of native bugs and insects, but also a place for the community to gather.  

The York Community Farm offers volunteer opportunities and internships for Western Washington University and Bellingham Technical College students, as well as vocational training for veterans, the homeless and those re-entering society after serving time in prison.

A group of neighbors, spearheaded by Mary Loquvam, petitioned the state to allow them to build garden beds and plant fruit trees along the patch of unkempt grass and weeds. The farm now hosts dozens of beds of flourishing crops, rainwater collection systems and a hen house.  

Updates about the farm can be found on the group’s Facebook page, as well as its Instagram, @yorkpharm.  


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