The garden gnomes of Ballard are rejoicing: the Ballard P-Patch appears to be here to stay.
The P-Patch and Our Redeemers Lutheran Church approved a purchase and sale agreement for the half-acre garden located on church property (8527 25th Ave NW), which will protect it from being sold to developers.
The P-Patch plans to secure a loan for the $1.95 million price tag, with two years to pay it off. This means the fundraising will continue, but with a concrete plan and timeframe, the volunteers are confident they can save the plot from being transformed into housing.
“The ultimate aim would be to convert the property to a conservation easement, securing it as garden space in perpetuity,” P-Patch volunteer Roxanne Kenison tells My Ballard.
The garden, established over 40 years ago, has been leased to the City of Seattle by Our Redeemers for just $1 per year. But now, the church needs money for seismic upgrades, and selling the plot is the only viable option.
When P-Patch leaders learned their garden was at risk, they began fundraising in earnest. Since it launched last spring, the Save Ballard P-Patch campaign has raised over $100,000.
The funding for the purchase is coming from a variety of sources, both public and private. Roughly half is expected to come from a King County Futures Tax grant, funding which is earmarked for the purchase of open lands, typically in rural areas.
“The P-Patch property presents a rare opportunity for purchase of open space within an urban area of Seattle that is slated for high-density, urban village development,” the P-Patch leaders said in a press release about the purchase.
The CFT award is contingent on matching funds from other sources; the P-Patch will submit their application for the CFT funding in March. If it’s approved in July, the sale will move forward, and the deed will likely be held by GROW Northwest, which owns a number of other community gardens around the city.
“Julie Bryan was near tears as she announced that garden spaces for the 2020 growing season would be renewed at Ballard P-Patch after all,” the P-Patch leaders said.