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Along Valley Road, between 4th and Atlantic streets, a big, bright mural of butterflies hangs on a chain link fence, waiting to catch the eyes of drivers and pedestrians passing by. It’s one of many installations — all created by local artists — that surround the outside of The Well at Oxon Run, a 20,000-square-foot urban farm and community space that opened up for its second growing season last month.
Beyond the gate, visitors can find rows of planter boxes, a greenhouse of fruit trees and patches of soil — the last of which already hosts green veggies like lettuce, kale, cabbage, turnips and collards. A small coop stands ready for a flock of chickens set to make a home there later this year.
The Well houses a little bit of everything for humans, too. An outdoor classroom and covered patio offer spaces to sit in the shade for conversation and learning. Regular classes and workshops held at the garden range from yoga to drumming to African American food and farming traditions (that last workshop, officially titled Seed & Culture Saturdays, will begin again on May 6, led by Falani Spivey of Byrd’s Nest Box—featured on page 20).
The Ward 8 Water Watchers, a program hosted by The Green Scheme with a home base at The Well, offers youth the outdoor education opportunities to learn from scientific experts about environmental justice issues impacting nearby waterways like Oxon Run Creek. Chill days designed for elders in the community show up on the schedule alongside bustling events like health and resource fairs.
The space’s next event you should know about? An Earth Day seed swap, celebration and book drive! Come visit The Informer and Washington Informer Charities at our table at The Well (300 Valley Ave SE) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on April 22.