Beginning late in 2013, Community Food Lab has worked with the Town of Morrisville to build feasibility and development strategies for a new farmers market pavilion, which would be part of a proposed mixed-use development being imagined as a new 'Main Street' for the Town. Community Food Lab helped shape this concept that celebrates the market's potential as a catalytic driver of a healthy commercial, civic, and residential development. Western Wake Farmers Market has been a key collaborator and partner, as the future operator of the proposed farmers market.
Over the first months of the project, we worked with the Town and Western Wake Farmers Market to better define objectives and outcomes of this concept. As the concept developed, we helped narrow a list of 12 potential farmers market sites down to two, and created visualizations of various schemes to fit those sites. We worked through a multi-point site evaluation process, and also created a preliminary understanding of the varied revenue streams that a new pavilion could support outside of standard farmers market days.
In Spring of 2014, the Town was invited to submit a proposal for a multi-year healthy eating and active living grant. With Community Food Lab's help the Town crafted a proposal that brought together the development of the new farmers market pavilion, the soon-to-be completed regional greenways that intersect nearby, and an outreach and assessment project aimed at increasing farmers market participation among Morrisville's low-income populations.
The three-year grant, made by the Rex Endowment, launched in August 2014. Community Food Lab's consulting work will continue over the grant period. Our role includes leading the assessment and outreach portion of the grant, providing feedback on the evolution of the farmers market design and urban integration, and general local food system recommendations.