Healthy green spaces are vital components of any community. With the help of like-minded organizations, Toro works to revitalize and maintain community green spaces in areas that need them most. 

In that spirit, Toro is proud to recognize innovation in park management practices through the Toro Urban Park Innovation Award. With the help of Seattle-based Toro distributor Turf Star Western and the City Parks Alliance, a national non-profit that promotes the power of parks, Toro has named the Rainier Community Center’s urban garden the winner of the $50,000 grant.

The front of the Rainier Community Center.
The front of the Rainier Community Center.

With the help of Seattle Parks and Recreation and other organizations, the Rainier Community Center’s urban garden will transform what was once a landfill into approximately 2,000 sq. ft. of fresh, nutritious and locally grown produce for the neighboring community.

The $50,000 grant will support garden design, purchase of supplies and compensation for labor hours during the build phase. 

The project will support local BIPOC community members in gardening and producing foods that express their cultural and ethnic values. Gardening techniques will also be informed by the gardeners’ cultural practices, and the foods grown will include foods that are part of the gardeners’ ethnic traditions. The urban farm model will help inform future Seattle Parks and Recreation’s urban food system projects with the potential to be replicated nationally and internationally.

The Toro Urban Park Innovation Award will be presented at Greater & Greener 2024, City Parks Alliance’s biennial international urban parks conference, held June 21 – 25 in Seattle.

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All photos courtesy Seattle Parks and Recreation. Header photos: Group shot of iUrban Teen program participants and Seattle Parks and Recreation staff after an Earth Day event in April 2024 (left). iUrban Teen/SPR community garden under construction at an Earth Day event at the Rainier Community Center (right).