“Whether praised by the president or an anonymous gardener, gardens have been lauded as symbols of hope for a better, more cooperative, and more beautiful, healthy world.”
-Laura J Lawson, “City Bountiful: A Century of Community Gardening in America,” 2005
The mission of the San Diego Community Garden Network (Network) is to create a healthy community garden movement in the County of San Diego and assist in the formation of community gardens through education, technical assistance and by linking gardeners.
The Network views community gardening as a method for building and empowering communities and for promoting social and economic justice, good health and nutrition, access to healthy, fresh local food, a sustainable urban environment and breaking down cultural, ethnic and generational barriers. The Network also envisions community gardens as partners with other groups working for similar goals.
The Network, a 501c3, subscribes to the American Community Garden Association’s Vision “that community gardening is a resource used to build community, foster social and economic justice, eliminate hunger, empower communities, break down racial, ethnic [and generational] barriers, provide adequate health and nutrition, reduce crime, improve housing, promote and enhance education, and otherwise create sustainable communities”. The Network also envisions community gardens as partners in creating more green spaces in our cities and engaging in environmental stewardship.
The goals of the Network are to:
- Provide support services, technical expertise and educational programs to assist in the development of new community gardens that share the Network’s values and are viewed as an asset by their surrounding communities.
- Foster the development of support links within the garden community and with community partners, including the business community, nonprofits, educational institutions, health providers, community leaders, government and the general public.
- Promote the creation of a community identity for San Diego community gardens and increase public awareness of the contribution gardens make to their neighborhoods through the use of the website, social media, events and educational programs.
- Support environmentally and people friendly garden practices and the expansion of green spaces in our cities.
Where we are today:
Two years in the making, the Network became a 501c3 nonprofit corporation in September 2011. The Network is currently providing technical assistance to community garden startups around the county. In addition to providing resources and information, this website also serves to map and provide registration information about the variety of unique community gardens in San Diego County. New Gardens we have worked with include. In the past 2 years we have collaborated or provided consultation to the City of La Mesa, City of Chula Vista, the Serra Mesa Community Garden, Circle Community Garden, SDSU College Area Garden, Town and Country Apartments, Mt. Hope Community Garden, Avocado Court Community Garden, Bayside Community Garden, Cuyamaca College Garden, Edgemoor Hospital Community Garden, TLC Community Garden, El Cajon CDC, the International Rescue Committee, La Gracia y Paz Community Garden project, the San Diego Master Gardeners and the UCSD Green Steam Communities project.
In May 2012 we held a Celebration of Community Gardens at The TLC Giving Garden, jointly hosted by the Tierrasanta Lutheran Church and the Network. Almost 300 people enjoyed a full day of workshops, garden tours, networking, music, garden related vendors and children’s activities.
This March the Network provided 200 fruit trees to local community, school and educational gardens. This event was possible due to the support of the Dave Wilson Nursery and the San Diego California Rare Fruit Growers.
Visit us on Facebook , and follow our Tumblr where you can stay up-to-date on community garden news, learn about local events, and post comments and pictures of your own gardening exploits!
Whether you are currently a community gardener, would like to become one, or are a friend of community gardens it is your participation and support that will create a vibrant community garden movement in San Diego. Volunteer opportunities abound. The Network needs people with experience in all of the following: gardening, the web, fundraising, writing skills, teaching, advocacy, carpentry, public speaking, irrigation, composting, cooking, event planning and research. Even if you are just learning a new skill, getting involved will help you learn through hands-on experience.