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Trust for Public Land to buy parcel for $2.2 million to make way for Frogtown Farm and Garden

Frogtown Farm and Garden announced on May 5 that the Trust for Public Land made a successful bid on a 13-acre parcel to help make the urban farm possible.

The Trust, a national nonprofit organization that conserves land for parks, gardens and other natural places, recently struck a deal to buy the land for $2.2 million from the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, according to Frogtown Farm information.

Wilder is a nonprofit health and human services agency that was previously headquartered at the site.    
Frogtown Farm, which a number of community members have been working on over the past several years, would bring an urban demonstration farm, recreation area, and nature sanctuary to a neighborhood that the city has identified as lacking in green space, according to farm information.

Farm organizer Tony Schmitz says, “It’s exciting news. We’re extremely grateful that the Trust has stepped up and pushed the whole issue forward.”

Now, the groups are working to finalize a purchase agreement, he says.

Soon, the farm’s organizers will be focused on fundraising to come up with the money for the land, which is worth more than double the sale price.

“The sale price is significantly reduced from the appraised value as Wilder’s contribution to the community, and to ensure the property will be used in a way consistent with the community’s vision to be of benefit to the community,” a prepared statement from Frogtown Farm reads.

Over the course of the next 18 months, the group will be looking for contributions from government entities, foundations, and individual donors, says Schmitz.

There’s a lot of work to be done to engage people along the way and design the farm to fit “what exactly people want there," he says.

His sense is that “There’s a lot of support for this idea right now,” with people looking at food production with an eye to “how they can have a lighter footprint on the planet.”

It's validation for the fact that “We’ve believed all along that Frogtown kids and families need more green space to enhance their lives,” he says.  

Source: Tony Schmitz, organizer, Frogtown Farm and Garden
Writer: Anna Pratt

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