by Rachel Gordon
The Glen Park Village Farmers’ Market, a fixture of Sunday mornings in the neighborhood since 2011, will not be returning this year and could be shuttered for good.
The farmers’ market had operated on the BART parking lot across from the Glen Park station. But BART alerted market organizers that the lot would be unavailable several Sundays this year “for a variety of reasons” related to upcoming weekend BART closures for needed rail repairs. As a result, the lease was not renewed.
That was the message Molly Burke, regional transit agency’s government and community relations manager, delivered to the presidents of the Glen Park Association and Glen Park Merchants Association in a March 16 email.
Alyssia Plata, a spokeswoman for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association, which managed the Glen Park market and still operates more than five dozen others in the Bay Area, said BART’s plans drove the decision to call it quits in Glen Park—at least for this year.
She conceded, however, that there was a secondary factor: The Glen Park market struggled last year to attract the volume of shoppers it needed to remain vital. The dwindling crowds led to fewer vendors and a smaller selection of produce and prepared foods, which in turn made the market less of a draw. “It was a challenge,” Plata told the Glen Park News.
District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents Glen Park on the Board of Supervisors, lamented the closure.
“I’m disappointed that the BART parking lot is no longer available for the farmers market, which has been a fantastic weekly event for the neighborhood,” Wiener said. “I will be happy to work with neighbors and merchants to identify a new location.”
The neighborhood market ran from spring to Thanksgiving, with a pause over the winter months.
The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association has not ruled out bringing the market back to Glen Park, Plata said
Ric Lopez, president of the Glen Park Merchants Association who was instrumental in getting the market started, initially hoped the market would operate on Wilder Street, off of Diamond Street near Chenery Street. But that would have necessitated a weekly street closure, which generated opposition.
Lopez is said to be hunting for a temporary location for this year. Meanwhile, he let BART know that he would like to see the market return to the parking lot in 2017.
“The farmers’ market has become an integral part (of) Glen Park and surrounding neighborhoods,” he told BART’s Burke. “The farmers’ market has become a neighbors’ gathering place on Sundays and will be greatly missed.”