- Belinda JacksonExecutive Director, The EXPO Center
Save the CSU/Expo Urban Mini Farm
Your Urgent Action is Needed! The EXPO Center is saying they may destroy the farm as early as this summer.
For more than a decade Community Services Unlimited Inc. (CSU) has worked to establish and maintain the CSU/EXPO mini urban farm located at the EXPO Center. The farm is the only space of its kind in South LA, and the only green space in the immediate neighborhood around the EXPO Center. CSU has engaged thousands of volunteers and dozens of partners and raised funding to create a model for urban farming that is highly productive and a center for community learning!
The farm provides one of the few opportunities available for residents of South LA to access fresh, sustainably grown, beyond organic produce. It hosts education and training programs for South LA residents, including youth, providing training in sustainable food production, healthy cooking, entrepreneurship, and community organizing. More than 400 youth and 600 adults have participated directly in training programs over the last decade, as well as thousands of others who have volunteered to help build and maintain the farm.
The farm is now under threat. The EXPO Center is planning to destroy the farm and create a parking lot in response to pressure from the State of California and the University of Southern California to provide parking for USC football home games and other special events that attract and primarily benefit residents from outside South LA.
The center is proposing to build a new farm in the current EXPO amphitheater and is promoting this as a “relocation” of the farm. This plan will result in the destruction of the current farm, and the over all loss of green space, as the new farm would replace an existing beautiful green space with mature trees.
At a time when public and government priorities are focused on funding and supporting the creation of food access and green spaces in under served neighborhoods like ours it makes absolutely no sense that EXPO would propose to destroy the farm to replace it with parking.
The EXPO farm is a critical resource for the surrounding neighborhood, a model for urban food production, a beautiful green space, a place of gathering, learning and building community. CSU/EXPO urban mini farm MUST not be the casualty of bad deals made with the state, USC or anyone else.
- Executive Director, The EXPO Center
I am writing today to urge you to do everything in your power to save the CSU/Expo Urban Mini Farm from being destroyed and turned into a parking lot. The EXPO farm is a critical resource for the surrounding neighborhood, a model for urban food production, a beautiful green space, a place of gathering, learning and building community. The CSU/EXPO urban mini farm MUST not be the casualty of bad deals made with the state, USC, or anyone else, and should be preserved as a thriving and accessible resource for South Los Angeles residents. I urge you to move quickly to give the public your confirmation that the farm will not be turned into a parking lot, and that the you will work with CSU to ensure that the farm is protected into perpetuity.
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