The following is by the Carlsbad Community Gardens Collaborative
The new Schoolhouse Community Garden was
approved by the Carlsbad City Council in July with $80k designated for
construction. Once construction is
completed funds granted by the Carlsbad Charitable Foundation (CCF) will be
utilized to enhance the garden, to provide a strong leadership structure, and
for community outreach and education.
The new garden is being constructed on a passive recreation area in the SE corner of Calavera Hills Community Park. The sloping site will be terraced for raised bed garden plots and at least three beds are designed for residents with limited mobility. The garden includes a gleaning grove of fruit trees, a composting area, and a community gathering area with seating and shade for gardeners and garden visitors. The new garden provides for, and heightens the value of, community gardening in Carlsbad. With the assistance of Carlsbad’s Historical Society, this garden is linked to Carlsbad’s rich history in location and name. The Schoolhouse Community Garden is located near two historic school sites and two Carlsbad schools named after those historic schools, which are within walking distance for the students.
The CCF Grant will be used to add significant finishing touches to the garden by enhancing common areas, providing start up planting materials in bulk, providing for shared tools and storage, creating and installing educational and interpretive displays and signage. In kind contributions are being sought for public art. Funding will also provide for outreach programs at the garden such as group planting events, garden tours for children and community groups, and hands-on gardening classes for all ages.
The grant will be administered by the Carlsbad Community Gardens Collaborative (CCGC), a non-profit organization leading the way for more community gardens in Carlsbad. The vision of the CCGC is to create a network of community gardens throughout the City of Carlsbad. Formed in November 2010, CCGC became a 501(c)(3) in September 2011. CCGC is an all-volunteer organization led by a uniquely qualified board and supported by an increasing number of citizens, community and business partners. CCGC's achievements include the full support of the Carlsbad City Council and successful collaboration with City Parks and Recreation staff. Approval of the Schoolhouse Community Garden includes a directive for staff and the CCGC to continue working together to develop a three-year plan for future community gardens in Carlsbad.
“The CCF grant is especially meaningful to the gardening community, says Gretchen M. Ashton, Treasurer of the CCGC. CCF is a local organization and the funds are donated by Carlsbad citizens.” This year, CCF funds were matched by the Matt McLaughlin Endowment Fund through the San Diego Foundation. CCF grants were also awarded to Meals on Wheels – Caring for Homebound Seniors, the Community Resource Center – Homelessness Prevention and Intervention Services, Kids for Peace - Kindness Matters in Carlsbad, Project Wildlife -Preserving Carlsbad Wildlife through Volunteerism, Carlsbad Music Festival - Village Music Walk Expansion, and Aqua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation - Environmental Stewardship Academy.
Presently, the Harold E. Smerdu Community Garden is the only public community garden in the city of Carlsbad. For years Smerdu Garden has had a long waiting list of residents seeking the health, social and recreational benefits of gardening. At this time there are approximately 130 people on the waiting list for a garden plot in Carlsbad.
The new garden helps address this long-standing community need. In addition, the new garden offers the opportunity to garden in a new location in the community. Community gardening efforts are expanding nationwide. Offering community gardening opportunities to residents through local parks systems is a proven successful method and supported by such well-known programs as Sacramento’s Community Garden Program, Seattle’s P-Patch Community Garden Program and Chicago’s Neighborspace Community Managed Open Space Program. The project is also supported by the National Recreation and Park Association’s publication entitled Grow Your Own Park Initiative – Building a Community Garden in Your Park: Opportunities for Health, Community and Recreation. At a local level, the Harold E. Smerdu Community Garden provides a great example for success of such public gardens and is a model for their operation.
The Schoolhouse Community Garden offers a wide variety of yet unrealized health, social and recreational benefits to the community such as: intergenerational educational and recreational opportunities for the residents of the city; healthy locally grown foods for Carlsbad families; connections with Carlsbad's history; increased appreciation of our local natural environment, waste and water reduction, and more.
To learn more about the Carlsbad Charitable Foundation visit: www.carlsbadcharitablefoundation.org
For more information about Carlsbad Community Gardens visit: www.carlsbadcommunitygardens.org