our story


Share what ya' know, share what ya' grow

 The Shark Garden was founded in the spring of 2015 by the Community Advisory Board for New Start High School, a Highline District school for at risk teens. The garden supports the program Youth Works, which gives students an entry into the work force, skills training, as well as the opportunity for credit recovery. The garden was founded in the summer of 2015 when nearly 30 high school students began construction on the garden, using almost entirely donated materials.

The small budget available went to buying enriched garden soil for the new beds.  The students built a shed, compost bins, beds, and paths and then planted them with donated fruit trees, vegetables, and flowers.  By the season’s end the garden had produced enough vegetables to donate over 100 pounds of food to the White Center Food Bank.  With the help of tireless volunteers, donors, and summer program staff, the garden sprang to life. Since then, the community has added a larger storage shed, dozens of raised beds, a stage, an access road, a main gate, and P-patch plots with the help of generous donations by NAIOP and others.  Most recently added features include over 20 additional fruit trees, a hummingbird garden, and an area for edible flowers. 

Our third season (2017) as a garden brought lots of exciting changes. We became a nonprofit under the fiscal sponsorship of the Weed Warriors, we became a 501c3 nonprofit,  we began our p-patches program, and more volunteers started to support the garden.  Our Volunteer of the Year, Carol, served an amazing 400 hours in the Shark Garden planting and harvesting veggies for the students and food bank.  Two local Boy Scout troops helped us plant more fruit trees, mark the p-patches, and install the irrigation system, which now covers most of the site with hose bibs for the gardeners. We are tremendously grateful to all of our volunteers and volunteer board members for their efforts to further the garden! In total, they served over 5,600 hours during the year! Their tireless work helped us greatly increase the amount of produce that we donated to the community. 

Over 1,300 pounds of food was donated to White Center Food Band in 2017 and another 600 pounds went to students, staff, volunteers, and neighbors. Our growing relationship with the White Center Food Bank lead to the creation of a food pantry for students at the New Start High School campus.  It’s great to see how our support network is growing!  

We’d also like to recognize the continued support of our returning donors.  Burien Press continues to donate their coffee grounds to us. McKinstry Construction donates building supplies for raised beds and other projects. The Burien Parks Department brings us wood chips for our paths. Our friends at NAIOP donated soil and Burien Bark donated leaf mulch. We’d like to thank our new donors. Troy at Restoring Eden Nursery, in SeaTac, donated over a dozen plants and trees to add to our edible landscaping.  Dwayne’s Produce donated a bunch of vegetable starts to us, and, of course, our board members have all donated time and resources to grow the garden.  A $10K grant from the Port of Seattle is also helping us build our garden and community. Materials donations for the year were valued at over $6,000.