Nine years ago, the vacant lot at the corner of Coast Highway and Eagle Rock in South Laguna was choked with weeds.
At that time, owner Paul Tran gave written permission for the South Laguna Civic Association to install a Community Garden. Today, it is thriving with more than 50 privately stewarded garden plots and a slew of garden enthusiasts, picnickers and neighbors enjoying workshops, potlucks, mini-concerts and harvest festivals.
Last Sunday, the South Laguna Community Garden celebrated its annual Spring Fling Potluck Festival and memorialized its biggest proponent, Morrie Granger, with more than 200 people in attendance.
The South Laguna Garden is a monument to true community, from the many donated supplies (including vintage iron gates, water system, starter plants and many garden amenities from Ruben Flores of Laguna Nursery), lumber from Ganahl, construction and development assistance, and ongoing maintenance.
And, still, the lot on which it sits is owned by someone else who – someday – intends to build.
City Council Meeting Tonight on Assertive Future for our Burgeoning Garden
For years, leaders behind the South Laguna Community Garden Park have worked with the City for solutions to buying the parcel, all while diligently raising money from supporters. To date, they’ve raised $175,000, and the City has committed $500,000 toward buying the property, but the new owners in Saudi Arabia have not been responsive on cutting a deal.
So, now City Council is meeting tonight (Tues, May 8th) to review a bill prepared by Steve Dicterow and Rob ZurSchmiede that more assertively talks to next steps in potential acquisition of the South Laguna Community Garden Park.
South Laguna Garden Committee spokesperson Ann Christoph is asking residents and supporters in town to sign a petition at the garden’s website, http://southlaguna.org/garden to assure the City Council that there’s genuine interest in seeing the Community Garden stay in play, grow its greenery and soothe the souls of those who wander through (as only a garden can do).
Petition is Already Gathering Steam
The petition went live on Sunday afternoon and, as of StuNews deadline on Monday, had already collected nearly 100 signatures. The website seems to be running a bit slow with all the activity, but have patience – the petition takes just seconds to sign.
Residents are also circulating pen -nd-paper petitions to add to the online responses.
“This is an important turning point for our Garden,” says Christoph. “With the supportive comments we hear from local Garden visitors, there are a lot of people out there who would love to see the Community Garden bloom for years to come.
“The Garden has become such a resource to adults and children already,” says Carly Sciacca, organizer of children’s activities at the Garden.
Committee member Sally Coffey adds, “The community of people who started as strangers and have become friends continues to grow in parallel with the greenery all around. It really is a magical refuge.”
Take a moment for our only Community Garden at http://southlaguna.org/garden
City Council’s meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. sharp, with the Community Garden 18th on the agenda.