Amarillo group works to change San Jacinto neighborhood through urban farming

Urban farm in San Jacinto neighborhood. (Photo by Kendra Hall ABC 7)

Square Mile Community Development is a group working to change the San Jacinto neighborhood. Back in March, they broke ground on an urban farm in the heart of that area. Now, they just had their first harvest.

San Jacinto was one of Amarillo's first residential and business districts. Square Mile founders say the neighborhood used to be thriving, but is now known as one of the most crime-infested, drug-ridden, poverty-stricken neighborhoods in the city. They want to change that.

"Looking at the issues: high rates of diabetes, lack of anything other than corner-store convenience store food, we knew that in order to help kids learn better, in order for families to be healthy, in order to cut down medical expenses, we've gotta do something to fill that gap," said Brady Clark, founder of Square Mile Community Development.

So Square Mile was gifted land in the neighborhood to start an urban, micro-farm as one of its main projects. They have come a lot way since they started in March with a pile of dirt.

"We've got a variety of things growing," said Clark. "All of them are designed to fit a certain model of quick harvesting. We can harvest every week, year 'round."

Organizers want to teach San Jacinto residents how to eat healthy and start micro-farms of their own.

They are also working on projects to promote education, economic development, housing and spiritual care.

"It's a high renting property community and high crime to a lot of degree, but there are a lot of really solid working families here that are trying to do well and we want to help build on that foundation and help really restore San Jacinto to a neighborhood that you can raise a family in, feel safe in," Clark said.

They hope to eventually make San Jacinto a neighborhood residents can be proud of.

And they need help through donations and volunteers to make the change happen. Anyone can volunteer or give.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off