SHoP Architects has revealed plans for a new urban farm in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8. Spearheaded by local organization DC Greens, The Well at Oxon Run will cover 50,000 square feet of land next to the Oxon Run tributary in an underserved part of the nation’s capital city known as Anacostia.
According to D.C. blog Urban Turf, residents in the area have a drastically lower life-expectancy rate due to diet-related chronic illnesses than people living in Northeast D.C. Poor access to quality, healthy food is a major source of strain for locals south of the Anacostia River. In an effort to combat this, The Well will grow over 150 varieties of fresh produce, herbs, and edible flowers while also housing space for events, programming, and a farmers market. DC Greens noted in a tweet that a youth classroom will also be built, and local art will be incorporated on-site.
Due to its location in a highly urbanized part of D.C.’s southeastern quadrant, the project will help beautify and activate a blighted piece of landscape next to the long-polluted, seven-mile-long stream. Friends of Oxon Run, which supports activities surrounding Oxon Run and the nearby Oxon Run Park, is working with DC Greens, as well as The Green Scheme, a local nonprofit that advocates for a healthier environment on behalf of communities of color, to bolster the area’s reputation.
Abby Bluestone, development director at DC Greens, told AN that The Well will be more than a community hub or food haven, it will also be an inclusive wellness space. “In this space, we will be growing crops, but mostly we’ll be growing community,” she wrote in an email. “We are imagining an intergenerational space for community health and healing, centered around food… A farm space that honors the full power that food has to bring people together, and make people whole.”
The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation is collaborating on the project too, which slated to start construction sometime in 2020. Before breaking ground, DC Greens hopes to raise up to $1 million in an online campaign to cover construction costs. Additional renderings are expected to follow in the coming months.