History and Management of the AgPark
The Sunol AgPark was established in 2006 as a result of a historic partnership between the non-profit organization Sustainable Agricultural Education (SAGE) and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). SAGE pioneered the concept of urban-edge agricultural parks in the United States based in part on European models. AgParks are an innovative, scalable model that facilitates land access for beginning and immigrant farmers, local food provision for diverse communities, resource conservation, public education and job training opportunities.
As an organic farm located on public lands at the confluence of two creeks, the AgPark places a strong emphasis on natural resource stewardship. The farmers utilize organic practices such as cover cropping, crop rotation, and organic amendments to enhance soil fertility and minimize soil and plant diseases.
In addition, drip irrigation and crop mulching conserve water and prevent negative impacts on adjacent streams. Bluebird and owl boxes, raptor perches and a native plant hedgerow encourage native bird species, beneficial insects and pollinators by providing habitat for them to thrive in.
The AgPark’s proximity to markets in the East Bay reduces transportation impacts on the environment and lowers farmer’s production costs.
For more on the management of the AgPark, please see the Sunol AgPark case study.