At 92, Opal Lee Unveils Newest Project

Opal Lee

Community activist Opal Lee never stops. Even at 92.

by Rebecca Williams

Community activist Opal Lee never stops. Even at 92. 

Opal’s Farm, a newly established urban farm at 816 South Sylvania Ave. just east of downtown, held its official ribbon cutting ceremony Friday to symbolize the project’s commencement. Ninety-two-year-old Lee and her nonprofit organization, Unity Unlimited, Inc., lead the project.

The farm aims to improve access to food in Tarrant County, particularly in low income neighborhoods. “Tarrant County alone has over 40 food deserts, and a lot of times the only choice people have is what they can get off the convenience store shelves,” farm manager Gregory Joel said during the event. He further explained the effects that a lack of adequate nutrition can have on health, citing it as an issue that can lead to “obesity, diabetes and heart disease.”

Additionally, Lee says the farm will employ those who have been previously incarcerated and struggle to find work. “This project is to put them to work farming and pay them a living wage," she said. 

The Tarrant Regional Water District granted United Unlimited, Inc., its lease on a piece of fertile land that sits by the Trinity River. The farm will practice organic growing methods, which Joel described as “regenerative agriculture.”

United Unlimited, Inc.’s annual Fort Worth Juneteenth celebration will help finance the project.

“My dream is that [parents] will bring their children so that they will know that food doesn’t just come off the Walmart shelf, and maybe they will take an interest in this and carry it on,” Lee said. “There’s just so much to do, and [we need] each of you to participate in it, to come down and see what we’re doing.”