Soil and water

Farmers’ groups want to eliminate Shively’s food desert by creating a community food park

Efforts are currently underway to convert part of a former Shively golf course into a community food park for urban agriculture. The former Farsnely Golf Center on Crums Lane is prime property for the town of Shively and two local groups are looking to put it to good use. One such group is The Food Literacy Project. recently evicted from the land where they had been growing fresh produce for years. It was LeTicia Marshall, owner of Bear Fruit & Grow LLC, who put the Crums Lane property on their radar. “This property is a huge economic asset to them and it’s an asset to the community, everything,” Marshall said. The groups want to buy 10 acres from the city for urban agriculture capable of producing more than 2,500 pounds of food. per year for the community.The plan also calls for hiring more than 30 young people per year and providing job training and professional development.With this feedback, they added more recreational components to their proposal like year-round event space, a wading pool, walking trails and a nature playground. Monday’s city council meeting was packed with supporters of the project, particularly the impact it could have on the current food desert that exists there. Von Varnes is the founder of Kentuckiana Backyard Farms. He works to educate community members about agriculture and urban farming. “I mean, look around us,” Varnes said. “Kroger right over my shoulder that was closed. Walmart down the street that was closed. Where do people get food from?” Madeline Marchal is a soil technician with the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District and works closely with urban farmers in the city. She attended Monday’s meeting to show her support for the proposal. “It’s part of Louisville’s overall plan to put these things in place to mitigate our development with more green space,” Marchal said. While at least ten people signed up to speak in favor of the project, they never got the chance. The meeting was canceled due to lack of quorum. Outside the meeting, Shively Mayor Beverly Chester-Burton said she supported the project but not the venue. She says golfers still use the course and the city is working to make improvements. “We’re trying to renovate one of the buildings there so we can use it more, so it can be more functional so people can use it,” Chester-Burton said. Councilor Shanell Thompson spoke with supporters of the project outside City Hall. She is one of the only council members to express her full support for the sale of part of the land to the group. “I believe there’s enough for everyone,” Thompson said. next meeting to be held on Monday 5 September. The leaders behind the proposal will discuss their next course of action by then.

Efforts are currently underway to convert part of a former Shively golf course into a community food park for urban agriculture.

The former Farsnely Golf Center on Crums Lane is prime property for the town of Shively and two local groups are looking to put it to good use. One such group is The Food Literacy Project.

“The Food Literacy Project’s mission is really about young people transforming their communities through food, farming and the land,” said Executive Director Carol Gundersen.

The Food Literacy Project and Gate of Hope Ministries were recently evicted from lands where they had grown fresh produce for years. It was LeTicia Marshall, owner of Bear Fruit & Grow LLC, who put the Crums Lane property on her radar.

“This piece of property is a huge economic asset to them and it’s an asset to the community. It’s just not being used at all,” Marshall said.

The groups want to buy 10 acres from the city for urban agriculture capable of producing more than 2,500 pounds of food a year for the community. The plan also provides for the hiring of more than 30 young people per year and the provision of job training and professional development.

“We had community meetings. We surveyed the neighborhood to get feedback from the community on what they wanted and didn’t want,” Marshall said.

With this feedback, they added more recreational components to their proposal, such as year-round event space, a wading pool, walking trails, and a nature playground.

Monday’s city council meeting was packed with supporters of the project, particularly the impact it could have on the current food desert that exists there.

Von Varnes is the founder of Kentuckiana Backyard Farms. He works to educate community members about agriculture and urban farming.

“I mean, look around us,” Varnes said. “Kroger right over my shoulder that was closed. Walmart down the street that was closed. Where do people get food from?”

Madeline Marchal is a soil technician with the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District and works closely with urban farmers in the city. She attended Monday’s meeting to show her support for the proposal.

“It’s part of Louisville’s overall plan to put these things in place to mitigate our development with more green space,” Marchal said.

While at least ten people signed up to speak in favor of the project, they never got the chance. The meeting was canceled due to lack of quorum.

Outside the meeting, Shively Mayor Beverly Chester-Burton said she supported the project but not the location. She says golfers still use the course and the city is working to make improvements.

“We’re trying to renovate one of the buildings there so we can use it more, so it can be more functional so people can use it,” Chester-Burton said.

Councilor Shanell Thompson spoke with supporters of the project outside City Hall. She is one of the only council members to express her full support for the sale of part of the land to the group.

“I believe there’s enough for everyone,” Thompson said.

Everything that was on the agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting will be moved to its next meeting to be held on Monday, September 5. The leaders behind the proposal will discuss their next course of action by then.