Urban Food Systems Program

The Urban Food Systems Program partnered with Seattle Public Library to co-create and host the BLOOM Fellowship, a two-week program for young BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) adults to gain valuable work experience via an urban agriculture platform of social justice skill building opportunities. BLOOM is an acronym for Beginning Leadership for Organizing and Orchard Management. This program engaged BIPOC young adults of the Seattle metropolitan area interested in food sovereignty, social justice, health and wellness. Check out this generation of rising civic leaders in this new video. The BLOOM Fellowship acknowledges its work exists on Coast Salish land, the traditional homelands of the tribes and bands of the Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Tulalip, Suquamish, and nations that have been here since time immemorial in an unbroken circle to the present. 

Goals & Priorities

At Seattle Parks and Recreation, we are committed to providing opportunities for people to engage actively in the outdoors and to build community. Through the Urban Food Systems Program we provide coordinated opportunities that do both.

The Urban Food Systems Program is a series of activities that are relevant and timely for every community in Seattle: access to healthy food, engagement with equitable and sustainable environmental practices, opportunities for active recreation and cultural place-making.

The Urban Food Systems Program supports Parks' Legacy Plan and the City's Race and Social Justice and the Equity and Environment Initiatives

Urban Food Systems Program Goals

  • Encourage healthy and active lifestyles
  • Steward park land for long-term sustainability
  • Support the local food system to build community and cultural place-making
  • Increase environmental stewardship through food system programs

Urban Food Systems Program Priorities

  • Provide access to healthy food and active recreation opportunities
  • Community engagement   with parkland used for food production
  • Provide coordinated recreation and learning opportunities focused on the Urban Food System
  • Outreach and engagement of youth, seniors and other underserved communities

Urban Food Systems Programs and Partnerships

Community Education Garden Sites

The Urban Food Systems Program greatly appreciates the assistance of volunteers who generously donate their time and talents activating our Parks and Recreation gardens and orchards for public benefit. Community gardens and orchards strengthen neighborhood relationships, provide a sense of civic engagement, and create recreational and therapeutic opportunities for residents and guests. These spaces also promote health and wellness, foster positive social interaction, and provide elements of food security and food safety.  They are viewed as a means to promote equity by providing opportunities for growing food to those who lack the private space to grow their own vegetables and fruit. Surplus produce is sourced to community centers for use in public programs, or donated to nearby food banks. Be sure to check out this video about our food partnerships!

Check out one of Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Community Education Garden or Orchard sites to see the variety of ways healthy food is being grown and shared.

Community Kitchens

Community Kitchens provide an opportunity for the community to come together to use harvested produce from local gardens to produce healthy meals for later consumption. Using Community Kitchen best practices, these programs teach cooking techniques, food purchasing skills and healthy nutrition so that participants can cook and store food enough for multiple servings in a cost effective manner. Community Kitchens are available at many of our community centers; please contact your local center for details.

Teen Top Chef

Teen Late Night Recreation sites send delegations of teens for Healthy Cooking Program to compete for top honors in a citywide competition. Teens prepare healthy meals to be judged by a panel: one teen, one Late Night Recreation Program police officer, and one Parks recreation staff member.

Lifelong Recreation Food and Fitness Program

The Food and Fitness Program provides an opportunity for elders to congregate and celebrate their culture and language. Each gathering provides a communal lunch, social, educational and fitness program.

Summer Food Service Program

The Summer Food Service Program provides free lunches for children up to age 18 at Parks locations throughout the city. This program operates from late June to Late August, serving both breakfast and lunch.

Community Events

Seattle Parks celebrates growing healthy food throughout the year from garden builds, planting events, and harvesting events. Summer Harvest Potlucks and Community Dinners to Harvest Festivals in the fall.

Community Education Classes

Contact your local community center for a variety of educational classes promoting sustainable, organic gardening practices (e.g., Seeds to Sprouts, Garden Art, Pruning Techniques, Vertical Gardening, etc.).


Join us in our efforts to put nutrients back into the soil.

Parks and Recreation

AP Diaz, Superintendent
Mailing Address: 100 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA, 98109
Phone: (206) 684-4075
Fax: (206) 615-1813

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Healthy People, Thriving Environment, Vibrant Community