Partnership between SAGE and SFPUC reaches 10-Year Milestone
Sunol, CA – On the evening of August 13, 2016, leaders from the Bay Area food and farming community joined representatives of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Sunol AgPark. The Independent covered the story.
Started in 2006 by SAGE as a collaborative farm and sustainable agriculture education center, the AgPark is the largest organic fresh produce farm in the Tri-Valley area. It thrives because the soil is fertile and deep and has excellent water; and of course because the farmers are skilled and dedicated. “What started as an unusual idea has transformed 18-acres of our watershed lands into a flourishing farm that promotes sustainable farming, watershed education and urban agriculture,” said Harlan L. Kelly Jr., General Manager of the SFPUC. “Today, we’re adapting this amazing model for urban agriculture right here in our urban core in San Francisco.”
“As a forward-thinking utility, the SFPUC considered an organic farm connected to urban communities to be a good use for its watershed lands,” said Sibella Kraus, founder of SAGE. “The Sunol AgPark has really become a template for how public-nonprofit partnerships can promote multi-benefit sustainable agriculture on public lands.”
Guests toured the AgPark and then enjoyed delicious food prepared by Bay Area chefs using produce from AgPark farmers and other local products, and accompanied by superb Wente Family Estates wine. During the brief program, remarks were offered by Steve Ritchie SFPUC Assistant General Manager of the Water Enterprise, farmer Kristyn Leach, Sunol Community Advisory Council member Rosemary Chang, SAGE board chair Mary Selkirk, and SAGE President Sibella Kraus. A highlight was the unveiling of the model for a plaque commemorating the AgPark which will be installed at the AgPark.
SAGE has managed the Sunol AgPark since its inception ten years ago. Beginning in 2017, management will be taken over by the Alameda County Resource Conservation District. SAGE will focus on its other innovative public-private projects, including developing new AgParks to advance sustainable agriculture and food systems in the Bay Area. The farm will continue as it has – providing land for sustainable farming and for education.