News Releases from Region 09
Las Vegas area food hub to lead downtown and neighborhood revitalization
SAN FRANCISO, CA – This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing new technical assistance to help 13 communities nationwide develop local food system and placemaking strategies. The assistance is provided through Local Foods, Local Places a federal initiative that helps communities reinvest in existing neighborhoods and improve quality of life for all residents as they develop the local food economy.
“The project selected in Las Vegas will help create a hub to grow, prepare and sell locally-grown food to residents,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Land Chemicals, and Redevelopment Division Director Jeff Scott. “The work Las Vegas is undertaking will improve sustainability practices, as well as create new training, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities for the most socioeconomically disadvantaged residents.”
The City of Las Vegas seeks to create the Historic Westside Urban Agriculture Park, which will include vertical farming, a food distribution hub, an education center, an outdoor community area and a retail food co-op. As a component of this initiative, Las Vegas is working to reopen the closed James Gay Park as an anchor for revitalization of a historic Black neighborhood and Jackson Avenue, the neighborhood’s former main street and commercial hub. The reimagined park and neighborhood revitalization will provide affordable housing, healthy food choices, job creation and space for community events and engagement.
“The Local Foods Local Places project will focus on developing a community-led, sustainable solution to food resiliency for the Historic Westside,” said Dr. Tammy Malich, Director, City of Las Vegas, Local Foods Local Places.
Each selected community will work with a team of federal, state, and regional experts to address local agricultural, environmental, public health, economic development, and equity issues. Together, they will develop a community-led action plan to strengthen the local food system and spur revitalization of often-overlooked neighborhoods in the community.
Since its launch in 2014, Local Foods, Local Places has assisted more than 125 communities across the country to develop local food enterprises, such as farmers markets, community gardens, cooperative grocery stores, and food hubs that improve environmental, economic, and health outcomes.
The 13 partner communities announced this week as receiving assistance were selected from 97 applicants. The communities are in California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.
For more information on Local Foods, Local Places, visit: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/local-foods-local-places