- Author: Loren Nelson
Community gardens are not only beneficial to residents with plots, but to the community as a whole. Huntington Beach has a 2.5 acre community garden, and gardeners donate a portion of their crops to food banks and senior programs. A local Eagle Scout troop even built a rabbit-proof fence as a service project, making the garden a true community project. Costa Mesa has the Del Mar and Hamilton gardens, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Tustin hosts a garden for those without the space in their own homes, Santa Ana has Jerome CommUnity Learning Garden (where those utilizing it can give back by bringing their surplus to the facility for other community members) and UC Irvine has the Anthill Village Community Garden.
Although they provide valuable services, the gardens are incredibly impacted; those hoping to plant at Del Mar and Hamilton gardens can expect to wait about two years. There is only one active community garden in Newport Beach: The Oasis Senior Center Community Gardens provide seniors with an outdoor activity as well as nutritious produce. Having a Newport Beach community garden open to all ages in Newport would encourage neighbors to interact and improve diets while providing an outlet for physical exercise. Growing a garden teaches about dependence on the land and can serve as an outdoor classroom. Gardens encourage environmentally conscious lifestyle changes and lead to a decreased carbon footprint. There’s also the added benefit of beautifying our communities.