A partnership between the city of Puyallup and a local nonprofit culminated in the purchase of 24 acres of historic farmland on New Year’s Eve.
The city agreed to buy the former daffodil farmland near Shaw Road East and Pioneer Way East from retired farmer Neil Van Lierop for $3.75 million.
Puyallup will retain 18 acres for a future park to be named in Van Lierop’s honor. The city will sell the remaining 6 acres for $1.25 million to Step By Step, which helps at-risk mothers support healthy babies from pregnancy through infancy.
The nonprofit’s portion of the property will be transformed into the Germaine Korum Center for Women and Children, where mothers will receive job skills training and other resources. It will preserve the integrity of the outbuildings used by the former Van Lierop Bulb Farm and is named for local car dealer Jerry Korum’s wife, who has battled lung cancer for three years.
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The deal was finalized Thursday, according to a post on Step By Step’s Facebook page.
“It was an emotional moment,” the post states, “one that signified the closing of one family’s legacy, but also the beginning of another.”
Krista Linden, Step By Step’s founder and executive director, said Saturday that donors and city officials plan to celebrate the achievement with a ribbon cutting later this month.
“We know this is just the first big step, and we have a lot of work ahead,” Step By Step’s announcement states. “We are already looking forward to the new year and the next steps needed to bring this big dream to reality.”
Despite the milestone, Step By Step is still striving to meet its original fundraising goal of $1.5 million.
The organization is less than $135,000 away from that goal, at about $1.37 million, according to the project’s website.
Those interested in contributing may visit legacyinmotionproject.org to donate online or learn more.