A once-empty plot of land at 13th and Leavenworth Streets is growing food, flowers and community.
Amy Walstrom, who works downtown, has watched the transformation of the Sacred Seed Pop-up Garden on her daily walks. After the Warren Distribution building there was torn down in 2017, the lot has changed from a weedy patch to a haven for pollinators and birds — and people.
“It’s lovely,’’ Walstrom said. “The colors, the variety of plants. The fact that they have labeled what all the different plants are, so if I wanted to duplicate them in my own yard it won’t be so difficult.’’
Janis Regier of Natural Therapy first had the idea for a garden after the Warren building was demolished and approached Polina Schlott, whose husband, Bob, owns the property. The Schlotts liked the idea, with the caveat that the land could someday be sold or developed. Hence the reason it’s called a pop-up garden.
The first year was rough, but then the community started to build. The Nature Conservancy became involved, as did people at Kaneko, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and No More Empty Pots. Kinghorn Gardens helped with the layout as well as Taylor Keen, founder of Sacred Seed. Many others have come on board, including Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim.
The vegetables grown there are feeding multiple pantries, with 1,539 pounds donated so far, and it’s become a learning center for children, teaching them about sustainable gardening and monarch butterflies. Clients at Mosaic get a chance to enjoy nature by helping with the upkeep.