Several years back, I noticed that a corner lot on the inland side of S. Coast Highway north of Aliso Beach had become a garden. I had seen people tending to the garden and I always wondered what it was about, so I stopped by to check it out a couple of weeks ago. The project is the South Laguna Beach Community Garden, and it needs our help!
The first community garden was established in 2002 and lasted until 2004 when the owner of the land sold the property. With that, the garden was removed. It did not dampen the spirit of those who believed in this community project. Morrie Grainger and the South Laguna Civic Association would not let this dream go setting up a task force to explore alternative locations for the garden.
The property changed hands a second time and a new opportunity at that location was born. Long story short, the original site of the community garden was purchased and the right to use the land for the Community Garden for free was granted by the new owner. In August of 2009, the work to put the garden back together had begun. Largely the result of donations, volunteer work, and the unwillingness to let this idea go, the community garden was destined to spring back to life. Here are some of the cool things that were done to help the garden become reality in South Laguna Beach once again.
- Landscape Architect Ann Christoph donated her time and drew up the plans for the new garden.
- South Coast Water District donated a water meter.
- Laguna Nursery donated supplies including gates, plumbing, vines and more.
- The Beckham Family donated a shed that was brought to Laguna Beach by horse buggy in 1917 and Laguna Beach Towing helped get it to the community garden.
There are so many people to mention and it is important to acknowledge the efforts. This is truly a success story when it comes to a community movement to get something done that positively impacts the community. The hope is that other communities and land owners can see the value this adds to South Laguna Beach and they make moves to establish community gardens all over Southern California and nationally. The community re-opened in December of 2009 on the wings of donations and volunteer work. What a great story!
As it stands today, members of the community rent plots of land to do their gardening. There is even a children’s garden and a section of garden that is used to produce vegetables that are donated to those in need. They do gardening classes and demonstrations with garden days that include these activities and music. Families, children, community members, community leaders and visitors are all united in the belief that the garden has a place in this community and that it is positively impacting the area.
There is a new opportunity that has come to fruition as a result of the owner putting the property up for sale. The South Laguna Beach Community Garden would like to buy the property from the owner so that they can continue to do the good work they do in the community. We like the idea of a garden that brings people together, teaches the community about gardening, provides healthy outdoor activities for families with children and keeps an undeveloped plot of land from becoming overgrown and unsightly. There is no draw back to having a garden there. They are accepting donations to help them buy the property and I suspect that they will get this done. The community has a lot invested in this project and I can’t imagine a situation where this collective dream and community do not make this happen.
For more information on the Community Garden and how to help them purchase this property, Click Here.