Letter to the Editor: Arcadia's Future Plans for Woodlawn
Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture clarifies information about their preliminary development plans.
(Editor's Note: This letter to the editor was sent by Matt Mulder, Arcadia's Director of Development and Communications, in response to this article regarding Arcadia's future plans published on Feb. 1.)
Arcadia was founded in 2010 by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, and NRG remains a stalwart supporter of Arcadia’s efforts; however, Arcadia is an independent organization, with a Board of Directors and professional staff. Arcadia is not owned by Neighborhood Restaurant Group.
Additionally, with the ongoing development of the Route 1 widening project, and the accompanying uncertainty of the final impact that project will have on the site, any proposals for programs and development of the site are very preliminary. That said, we have made NO proposal to build a restaurant at Woodlawn Stables, and the restaurant that is proposed would not “eventually take over space now occupied by Woodlawn Stables.” Arcadia is very interested in maintaining the long history of agriculture at Woodlawn, and preserving the open, agricultural appearance of the site. Arcadia’s goals for Woodlawn do not preclude livestock, or any other agricultural activities, on the site, and the preservation of agriculture on the current grounds of Woodlawn Stables is something we thoroughly support.
Arcadia is developing a proposal for a variety of programs to be offered at Woodlawn. These programs will further our mission, help to preserve this important historic site, and build more opportunities for community involvement at Woodlawn. Our proposal, which is still in development, would include sustainable agriculture demonstration, education, and training programs; increased community access to locally grown food; historic preservation and landscape renovation; a revitalization of event services at Woodlawn; and a restaurant specializing in local, sustainable food. These proposed programs would help Arcadia to meet our mission, which is to create a more equitable and sustainable local food system, and improve the health of our community, the viability of local farmers, and the environment for future generations. We are an organization that provides farm to school programming, brings locally grown food into low income neighborhoods, trains new and beginning farmers, and offers public programs like Farm Camp, Family Fun Day, and cooking and gardening workshops. The light in which Arcadia has been portrayed by some does not seem to fit with the reality of who we are. For more information about Arcadia’s programs, please visit our website at arcadiafood.org.
Director of Development and Communications
Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture.