New Agriculture Park MudTown Farms Breaks Ground in Watts!

The Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) is a non-profit organization in Watts with more than fifty years of helping improve lives through social services, housing, arts, and community development. Led by Timothy Watkins Sr., WLCAC has sought to tackle not only immediate survival challenges in Watts but also to dismantle deeper systemic roots to allow residents to thrive. The Watts neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles faces a health crisis with high rates of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and infant mortality, exacerbated by limited access to healthy food and green space. Timothy and his wife Janine live in the Watts neighborhood, raising six children and now grandchildren, and this stark reality hit home.

With a family history of farming, Janine conceived of a project that would heal the neighborhood by growing not only healthy food, but healthy families. Inspired, Mr. Watkins set out to develop and implement a solution that will educate, empower, and nourish residents locally while serving as a model example nationally for living healthier in park poor neighborhoods that are food deserts.

To form the vision for MudTown Farms, WLCAC sought input from experts across the country including Michael Ableman and Eugene Cook, ultimately leading WLCAC to purchase a 2.5 acre parcel of farm land in Watts in 2005. MudTown Farms is the original name for the segregated blacks-only neighborhood where the parcel rests at the intersection of 103rd and Grape Streets in Watts. For nearly a century, the land has been used for farming or community gardens by local residents. The planned project includes time-tested farming techniques and current innovation to maximize neighborhood impact.

MudTown Farms will be an agriculture park with open space for community gardens, orchards, exercise pathways, reading gardens, and more. The park will also include a community center for teaching, training and events.

In 2012, WLCAC won a $4.9 million competitive grant award from California State Parks to build the first phase of the park. The City of Los Angeles Prop K fund also awarded $208K for construction. MudTown Farms is spearheaded by Haleemah Henderson (MPL), who has worked with WLCAC for more than a decade. Working together with Claremont Environmental Design Group for design and development, a grand opening is expected in late 2018. On Wednesday  WLCAC will break ground on MudTown Farms, sowing the seed for a remarkable future in Watts.

Join us on Wednesday February 15th, 2017 at 2051 East 103rd Street Los Angeles CA 90002 at 12 noon!


WLCAC Wins $4.9 Million Prop 84 California State Parks Award!

WLCAC will build the first and only Urban Farm and community center in Watts history!


WATTS, CA —Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) announces $4.9 million Proposition 84 Park Grant award to build the first and only Urban Farm and community center in Watts. [See more info at]

This is a dream realized for WLCAC and Watts residents, who have been working together for nearly a decade to build the project, which will provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy: Recreation, education, events, healthy produce and green space.  The project will include growing grounds, an orchard, fitness equipment, a community center, learning facilities and more.  The urban farm park will be named MudTown Farms.  MudTown was the historic name for the Watts neighborhood, which was renamed in 1900 after a local realtor, C.H. Watts.  This new farm and park space will bring hope, and with its new growth, a new meaning and honoring of Watts’ rich history. 

Nearly 500 applications were reviewed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, and 62 were awarded.  “The outpouring of applications from the urban and rural communities involved in this competitive program clearly shows the extent of unmet recreation needs throughout California,” said Ruth Coleman, Director of California State Parks. “The benefits of these parks will be felt in the concrete-covered urban landscapes… Especially heartwarming about the applications was the participation of children, seniors and families in determining what they wanted in their local parks.”

WLCAC was one of only five private non-profits receiving nearly the maximum award amount of $5 million dollars.  “We are thrilled to see that California State Parks recognized the tremendous need in the area of Watts and saw fit to make this sizeable award,” said Tim Watkins, WLCAC President and CEO. “The beauty of the MudTown Farms project is that it will turn into much greater good for the community for a long, long time to come.”

WLCAC’s mission is to improve the quality of life for residents of Watts.  To achieve this mission WLCAC spurs community economic development; provides cultural programming and enrichment; and delivers social services to more than 30,000 residents annually.

For more information on WLCAC, please visit or contact us at 323.563.5639.


For a list of the selected projects for the first round of Prop 84 Park Grants visit