Las Vegas’ Historic Westside is about to become the first neighborhood in the city to have a community-based urban agriculture farming facility of this nature thanks to a $500,000 philanthropic contribution from MGM Resorts International to the city of Las Vegas via the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE and its fiscal agent, Nevada Community Foundation, Inc.
The Historic Westside Farming Facility will establish a new, local food source in the Historic Westside in the city of Las Vegas. This facility will serve to tackle food insecurity rates in the neighborhood while addressing unemployment and building community wealth. The Historic Westside community has consistently struggled with reliable access to healthy food. As a food desert, Historic Westside residents experience 25.5% food insecurity – the highest in the Las Vegas Valley.
“The city of Las Vegas is committed to bringing unique solutions, whenever possible, to challenges that may face communities,” Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said. “This partnership will not only revitalize a currently unused public space and transform it into a farming facility providing healthy food, but it will also serve as a model for replication in other parts of the community.”
The Historic Westside Farming Facility will be located within James Gay Park in the Historic Westside. The city of Las Vegas will use the funding from MGM to acquire two ready-built, plug-and-play container growing facilities. The pre-built 40-foot shipping containers (manufactured by Freight Farms in Boston) are climate-controlled and can operate year-round, providing approximately 320 square feet of vertical growing space and producing the output of nearly 3.5 acres of flat farming each or 8 tons of produce. The containers provide diversified crop production capability – their systems can grow lettuce, leafy greens, herbs, vining berries and vegetables, root vegetables, and flowers, allowing the community to grow products that are needed and desired by its residents. Once the container operations are launched, they provide their first harvestable crops within eight weeks.
“The iconic Las Vegas Strip would not be what it is today without the Historic Westside Community,” said MGM Resorts CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle. “We are honored to join our neighbors in developing this farming facility that will have a positive and direct impact for those who are currently food insecure. At MGM Resorts, we take seriously our commitment to invest in our communities, and we believe that we are all better off when we unite with one another for the common good. We are grateful for the entities who together have turned this innovative idea into a reality and look forward to the products that will be readily available for Historic Westside families and individuals to harvest in 2022.”
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