An urban agriculture park and co-op project slated for the Historic Westside has received a major boost.
MGM Resorts International is contributing $500,000 to the development of the Historic Westside Farming Facility, targeted for James Gay Park, according to a news release.
The donation will be used to acquire two ready-built, plug-and-play container growing facilities, which are climate-controlled and can operate year-round. They can produce the output of nearly 3½ acres of flat farming each, or 8 tons of produce.
“The city of Las Vegas is committed to bringing unique solutions, whenever possible, to challenges that may face communities,” Mayor Carolyn Goodman said in a statement. “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 containers are anticipated to be placed and operational by early next year.
This is part of Local Foods, Local Places, a federal program which supports community efforts to reinvest in existing neighborhoods and develop the local food economy. The area 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 release said.
“This investment by MGM in the Historic Westside demonstrates the company’s commitment to our community, and to addressing long-standing challenges unique to this neighborhood by investing in creative solutions,” Ward 5 Councilman Cedric Crear said.
The MGM donation will go through the city of Las Vegas, via the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE and its fiscal agent, Nevada Community Foundation.