Update on the Shipley Fields: Wal-Mart plans to build a big box right next door
Sound Consumer | June 2003
by Jody Aliesan, PCC Farmland Fund President and Operating Officer
(June 2003) — In 2002 local Sequim resident Steffan Sherman persuaded the owner of the Shipley Fields to reconsider plans to cover these forty acres of prime farmland with a 120-unit residential development. Sherman is now pursuing title to the land, a process delayed and complicated by the original owner's gift of the fields to a public television station.
During 2002, Farmland Fund donors raised the money necessary to purchase a conservation easement from Sherman that would require the Fields to be farmed organically in perpetuity.
Now Wal-Mart is coming to Sequim. The big-box retail giant intends to build a 118,000-square-foot retail store and a 76,000-square-foot grocery store on land next door to the Shipley Fields. The store site is on a rise above the farmland, separated by a line of trees and the old irrigation canal.
Runoff from Wal-Mart's parking lot and toxic leaks from its oil and tire center could pollute the canal, the soil, the water table, the Lower Dungeness River and the high-recharge underground aquifer that provides Sequim with its drinking water. If the Fund buys a conservation easement on this land, it would be responsible for monitoring Wal-Mart's behavior and enforcing the easement's terms.
Clallam County calls Wal-Mart's plans environmentally "incomplete." In an editorial, the publisher of the Sequim Gazette asks city planners to heed reports from the county, the state Department of Ecology and the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe on traffic and stormwater issues.
Many Sequim residents are concerned about this threat to water quality and also about Wal-Mart's reputation for driving small merchants out of business, providing only low-paid, part-time jobs without affordable health benefits and sending local retail dollars back to Arkansas. They have organized themselves as Sequim First.
If you would like to support their efforts, send a contribution to Sequim First, P.O. Box 431, Sequim, WA 98382. Their information and message line is 360-460-4016.
Stonyfield Farm gives to the Farmland Fund
Stonyfield Farm, celebrating its 20th year in business, is the world's largest organic yogurt company, providing all natural and certified organic yogurt, cultured soy, frozen yogurt and ice cream to all 50 states. The company advocates that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet.
Stonyfield Farm is the nation's first dairy processor to pay farmers not to treat cows with the synthetic bovine growth hormone rBGH and America's first manufacturer to offset 100 percent of its CO2 emissions from its facility energy use — one of many efforts to reduce global warming.
This winter Stonyfield Farm launched a children's health initiative in the Northwest and in California — Menu for Change — that encourages parents and students to demand more nutritious and safer food options in schools, where kids spend such large portions of their day. The program also challenges parents who pack lunches to include at least one organic food item in their child's lunchbox. Stonyfield believes that improving the food children eat is one of the simplest and most effective things parents can do to keep youth healthy, while contributing to a more sustainable world.
"Stonyfield Farm is proud to support the PCC Farmland Fund because we believe that farming organically is the best choice for the sustainability of our environment, the survival of family farms, the health of individuals and the strength of the community. We encourage other businesses and individuals to do their part by supporting the Farmland Fund."
— Gary Hirschberg, President and CEO, Stonyfield Farm
Donor Roster (April 1 – 30, 2003)
Mary A. Berg
Mike Buchman & Martha Swain
Kay E. Doolittle
Frances & Jeff Fawcett
Lisa Gordanier & Jim Richards
David Gross & Kelly Sweet
Rachel Grossman & Phoenix Raine
Mary Jane Helmann
Betty H. Hughes
Kevin & Ann Kosanovic-Brown
Ronald D. Long
Kathleen Tracy & Lisa Maynard
Mark and Nancy Tucker
Henri Van Elewyck & Lea Florus
Duane and Bert White
More than one hundred PCC staff members make voluntary payroll deductions twice a month. Peter Rodriguez started his, and Johnnie Bratrude, Elin Smith and Kim Smith made additional gifts.
The Seattle Foundation: Gardow-Bradlee Family Fund
Businesses and Organizations
Choice Organic Teas
Good Nature Publishing Company
Southcenter Physical Therapy & Associates in Renton
TalkingRain Beverage Company
Washington Mutual Matching Gifts Program
Wildwood Harvest Foods
The PCC Farmland Fund works to secure and preserve threatened farmland in Washington State and move it into organic production. For more information, see the PCC Farmland Fund.