by Ronnie Estoque
“The story is really a women’s story — [a] women’s leadership story,” Maria Batayola, chair of the Beacon Hill Council, told the Emerald regarding the decades-long journey leading up to Historic Seattle’s recent acquisition of the “Garden House” property on Beacon Hill.
In a 2016 lawsuit brought by then-owners the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs (WSFGC), a covenant that had guaranteed the property’s use for community purposes was deemed invalid, preceding a domino effect that ultimately put tenants of the property in a state of uncertainty. Tenants at the time included the Italian language school Dante Alighieri Society and Beacon Arts, a volunteer-run nonprofit that provides opportunities for artists and community members on Beacon Hill to create. The covenant had been part of the agreement between the Jefferson Park Ladies’ Improvement Club and the WSFGC when the former gifted the property to the latter in the late 70s.
Continue reading Historic Seattle Acquires Beacon Hill’s ‘Garden House’ for Community Use
by Chetanya Robinson
Every day, hundreds of commuters pass the Beacon Food Forest on their way to I-5 with no idea they are passing possibly one of the largest food forest projects on public land in the United States. This seven acre plot, is a trail-blazer for such urban permaculture projects around the world.
The Beacon Food Forest began in 2009 as a final project for a permaculture design course that co-founders Jacqueline Cramer and Glenn Herlihy were taking. During the course, the co-founders chose the Jefferson Park site and with community support, the City awarded grants to start the project. Continue reading A Decade Old, Beacon Food Forest Evolves Into its Second Phase
by Chetanya Robinson
Kenji Nakagawa fell in love with the Beacon Food Forest when it was still a distant vision, deeply rooted in people’s imaginations rather than the soil. On a Saturday in mid-April 2013, Nakagawa was set on visiting his mother in Beacon Hill. But five blocks before arriving at her home, he met a group busily working on a grassy slope of Jefferson Park’s western edge. Continue reading Beacon Hill’s Food Forest Seeding Change in the World