Google grant will support Pierce County farmland preservation

Over 200 acres of organic farmland threatened by development in King, Pierce, and Thurston counties will be preserved next year based in part on a $10,000 grant from Google Seattle, according to PCC Farmland Trust officials.

PCC Farmland Trust will use the funds to develop stewardship plans, monitor land use, farming practices and assist farm owners with identification and planning of ecological restoration projects. They also plan on engaging over 100 volunteers to restore farmlands and plant native trees in the Snoqualmie and Puyallup River Valleys. The Google funds will also allow the organization to continue offering public farm tours and launch a new “Walk and Talk” series, which will pair local groups with farmers for quarterly educational events.

“Google’s operational support enables PCC Farmland Trust to be creative and progressive in our work, and forge effective partnerships across the community”, said PCC Farmland Trust spokesperson Kristin Vogel. “Google’s support assists us in serving our community’s environmental needs, food and security issues, and economic vitality.”

Through their Community Grants program, each Google office location makes grants to local nonprofit organizations and schools that address four core areas: bridging the digital divide; educating about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); reducing the carbon footprint; and training small businesses, non-profit organizations, and schools to use online tools effectively. Google has over 1,000 employees in Seattle and Kirkland and since 2011 they have awarded more than $3 million to nonprofits and schools in Washington state.

Google’s latest round of 2012 grants focused on efforts that help to reduce communities’ carbon footprints. More information about Google’s green initiatives in addition to community grants can be found at

PCC Farmland Trust aims to secure, preserve, and steward threatened farmland in the Northwest. Established in 1999 by Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets, PCC Farmland Trust is an independent, non-profit land trust. Since its inception, the Trust has saved 12 organic Washington state farms. More information is available online at

In 2010, a partnership between Pierce County, PCC Farmland Trust, and Washington State helped preserve the Orting Valley Farms project. (PHOTO COURTESY PCC FARMLAND TRUST / PIERCE COUNTY)