Mayor McGinn, Council Members Bagshaw, Conlin and Licata: Save Seattle Gardens!  Stop the Mandatory Downsizing of Community Garden Plots!
  • Petitioned Mayor Mike McGinn
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Seattle City Mayor
Mayor Mike McGinn
City Council Member
Seattle City Council Member Sally Bagshaw
City Council Member
Seattle City Council Member Richard Conlin
City Council Member
Seattle City Council Member Nick Licata
Director, Dept of Neighborhoods
Bernie Agor Matsuno
See response
Dept of Neighborhoods
Karen Gordon
P Patch Program Supervisor
Rich Macdonald

Mayor McGinn, Council Members Bagshaw, Conlin and Licata: Save Seattle Gardens! Stop the Mandatory Downsizing of Community Garden Plots!

    1. Petition by

      stephanie butow

      Seattle, WA

The Seattle  Department of Neighborhoods (D.O.N.) is in charge of the Seattle P-Patch Community Garden Program where residents rent a plot of land to grow organic produce for their family, neighbors, and for Seattle Food Banks. The program has been wildly successful with volunteers lining up to contribute thousands of hours of service to this program and tons of organic produce to Seattle's Hungry. The D.O.N. prides itself on "building community" however it is this very community that is now being destroyed by the Department's new mandatory plot downsizing plan which was created behind closed doors without gardener input.

The result is that 105 Seattle Community Gardeners, at least 60 of whom are low income and/or new immigrants, will be forced to relinquish up to 1/2 or more of their garden space. The alleged reason is to make room for new gardeners and to increase "fairness and transparency". There is nothing fair, nor transparent, about how this decision was made plus there are many other  reasonable solutions of how to make room for new gardeners while respecting the invaluable contributions of current gardeners.

A group of concerned gardeners has tried on multiple occasions and in a variety of ways to work collaboratively with the Department, asking them to call a moratorium on this damaging decision, and asking that our input and that of those on the waitlist and the P-Patch Trust be included. The Department of Neighborhoods has repeatedly and resolutely rejected our request.

We the undersigned, call on Mayor Mike McGinn, Council Members Sally Bagshaw, Richard Conlin, Nick Licata, and the Department of Neighborhoods Director Bernie Matsuno to immediately:

1. Call a halt to the mandatory garden plot downsizing of low income, immigrant, and other productive Seattle community gardeners!
2. Honor your commitment to "building community" by involving us in decisions regarding public land set aside for gardens.
3. Return to Participatory Democracy where Government truly is for the people, of the people, and by the people.
4. Respect the enormous contributions of volunteers that are the backbone of Seattle's P-Patch Community Garden Program. We are the community in community gardening!
5. Build more gardens, not ill will and resentment!
6. Collaborate with us, instead of colluding against us!

Mayor Mike McGinn, Seattle City Mayor
Seattle City Council Member Sally Bagshaw, City Council Member
Seattle City Council Member Richard Conlin, City Council Member
Seattle City Council Member Nick Licata, City Council Member
Bernie Agor Matsuno, Director, Dept of Neighborhoods
Karen Gordon, Dept of Neighborhoods
Rich Macdonald, P Patch Program Supervisor
Save Seattle Gardens! Stop the Mandatory Downsizing of Community Garden Plots!

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Check out this news article!

      stephanie butow
      Petition organiser

      Ballard News Tribune posts an online article at this address:

      Check it out along with the correction and comment below the article.

    2. Reached 1,500 signatures
    3. Office of Sally Bagshaw Replies!

      stephanie butow
      Petition organiser

      We received a reply today from the office of Sally Bagshaw that states:

      "Thank you for contacting Councilmember Sally Bagshaw in regards to your request to meet with her. We are in receipt of your request and will get back to you."

      A definite step in the right direction! Please keep those signatures and comments coming and if you have questions or desire more info, feel free to contact us via the website.

      Stephanie - Start, Join, and Win Campaigns for Change is the web's leading platform for social change, empowering anyone, anywhere to start petitions that make a difference.

    4. Unbelievable! Literally!

      stephanie butow
      Petition organiser

      The Department of Neighborhoods must think we can't read, or that we don't understand what we are reading! In her response to this petition, Ms. Matsuno sent emails denying that 105 Community Gardeners will have their garden plots downsized--many against their will. She states it will only affect 45. Hmmm...

      In a document, which I am happy to email you, the D.O.N. states that gardeners that have more garden space than the D.O.N. decided (behind closed doors) is the new maximum "...must relinquish the extra space..."

      Regarding how this will be implemented:

      "Phase 1--December 2013. P-Patches that have no immigrant and refugee populations...will comply with the plot sizing guideline. 45 gardeners in 13 P-Patches will be affected."
      "Phase 2-- December 2014. P-Patches with immigrant and refugee populations will comply with the plot sizing guideline. It will affect about 60 additional gardeners."

      Surprise! 45+60=105. Fact or fiction? You get to decide!

      Stephanie Butow

    5. Department of Neighborhoods Responds

      stephanie butow
      Petition organiser

      The director of the Department of Neighborhoods, Bernie Matsuno, sent a response to Save Seattle Gardens Petition Signers and others however it contains inaccuracies, misses the point, and continues to ignore the requests listed in our petition.

      Stay tuned for specific examples!

    6. Decision-maker Bernie Agor Matsuno responds:

      Bernie Agor Matsuno

      July 16, 2013

      Dear P-Patch Community Gardening Supporter:

      I received your petition regarding the P-Patch community garden plot sizing guideline that is being implemented by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. I appreciate your inte...

    7. Reached 1,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Angela Tonkovich SEATTLE, WA
      • 10 months ago

      I am a ppatcher in another Seattle garden, for the past 2 years the garden space next to mine has gone untended and full of weeds. All my requests to garden in this space have been denied-even though we have no waitlist and other empty spaces. So frustrating I am not allowed to grow more veggies to share with my community. Save the gardens and gardeners who love to tend them!

    • pamela Ives SEATTLE, WA
      • 11 months ago

      Community gardens are vital to providing fresh, healthy food to our residents. They help off set "food deserts" and help build stronger communities.

    • Louis Allard SEATTLE, WA
      • 11 months ago

      People need to have an outlet for fresh food, creativity, fresh air, and connection to the earth. These community gardens are a great way to facilitate this and do some good things for the environment. Leave them alone please.

    • Heather O'Neill SEATTLE, WA
      • 11 months ago

      Hey I have an idea. Instead of smaller - MAKE MORE!!

    • Edwin Beatty SEATTLE, WA
      • 12 months ago

      I love gardening and I love P-Patches... they build community, there's good for the environment and the supply tons of high quality food to food banks across the city.


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