Pierce College Foundation discusses plan to preserve former Farm Center land

A plan to conserve the land currently occupied by the Farm Center was announced at a recent board meeting of the non-profit organization known as the Foundation for Pierce College.

The foundation is a service organization that offers financial support to students and various programs. One matter discussed was the Farm Center, which will be vacated by its current operators in April.

Denise Robb, chair of the foundation, said in the meeting that the city will pay close attention to what will happen to the farmland.

“The city of Los Angeles and our city councilman has been very concerned about the farm because now they are getting complaints like they are supposed to do something about it,” Robb said. “Our lands is owned by the District.”

The foundation met with the Trust for Public Land to discuss the implementation of an Agricultural Conservation Easement, Robb said.

Susan Shelley, a former candidate in the race for the 45th Assembly District, joined Robb and a group of others in meeting with representatives for the Trust for Public Land.

She also asked 13 Board of Trustees candidates if they would support preserving the Pierce Farm.

Eight out of the 13 candidates gave their support for the proposal. Those candidates were Andra Hoffman, Mark Isler, Glenn Bailey, Jozef Essavi, Sam Kbushyan, Steve Schulte, Joyce Burrell Garcia, and John C. Burke.

“[The current Board] was not ready to share their plans to the community, which rose concern. Obviously this land is of great value,” said Shelley.

The process by which the easement is to be drafted will require a delicate touch.

“You would have a lawyer draft it and make it very specific. This land is only for education or for agricultural purposes. It does not mean you can’t have building for classrooms,” Robb said. “It will not be used for development and will solve any qualms or rumors about that.”

The current operators of the Farm Center, who have managed the property for the past 10 years under the ownership of the Los Angeles Community College District, will be evicted on April 15.

Because The LACCD has not disclosed information about the 32 acres of land that they own, there has been much speculation about the future usage of the land.

Vice President of Administrative Services Rolf Schleicher attended the foundation’s meeting and said he believes in taking the necessary steps for the future betterment of the land.

“I want to see the land be put in the best use for the college needs. If it’s preserved, then I’ll preserve it the best way I can,” Schleicher said. “[The decision is] really made above me, but I am here to be a good steward for the District. It’s their property.”

The foundation’s board members will vote on a drafted resolution item in an upcoming meeting, the date of which has not yet been announced. That resolution will include reasons in support of the Agricultural Conservation Easement proposal.