EPA awards $200,000 for Coleman Park cleanup

Posted at 5:15 PM, May 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 04:55:12-04

In the heart of the city's Coleman Park neighborhood, volunteers are creating an urban oasis.

“I'm here all the time,” said volunteer, Rina Lloyd. "Growing food in pots, to keep them out of the soil below." 

The land was contaminated by industrial use more than a decade ago. 

Founder Stewart Bosley calls it a much-needed farm for the community. 

“This is a classical food desert,” said Bosley. “People who live around this growing center have got to go 2.5 miles in any direction to get fresh produce.”

Sometime in the next six months to a year, a $200,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency is set to take the inner-city gardening to the next level. The funds will be used to replace contaminated topsoil, so volunteer farmers can plant seeds directly in the ground putting fresh fruits and vegetables closer to home for residents of the city neighborhood.

“The goal is to improve the neighborhood,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio. “To be able to have fresh produce available to the community is just a huge asset.”

Once the EPA cleanup is complete, the goal is to create a thriving urban farm that can provide training, jobs and green space in the heart of the city.

“I love growing things, even people,” said Bosley. “The young kids who come here they start just like a plant small and they blossom.”

The Urban Growers Community Farm is located at 1400 Henrietta Ave.