When communities actively participate in the food system, they take ownership of their health and their environment. For years a small house on Drew Street in Glassell Park was an epicenter for drugs and gang activity -- locals and authorities agree that the two-block stretch where it sat was among the scariest in all of Los Angeles. Today, the land has been transformed into a community garden providing seasonal produce and fresh herbs to the neighborhood. For residents who lived for decades in fear on Drew Street, the garden is not only a welcomed reprieve from violence, but also a beautiful addition to the block and an opportunity to connect with agriculture and promote healthier eating habits.
Community gardens are direct examples of change at local levels, as they begin at the individual level. Using private or public property like city parks, rooftops and schoolyards, or land owned individually or by a community group, one person is all it takes to start a change in their community. There are tools to help you understand the opportunities of urban agriculture, the main challenges to starting an urban garden, and how those challenges can be overcome.
Take a look at the map below to find a community garden in a neighborhood near you:
A Common Link
Bradley from of the Glassell Park Neighborhood Council believes food is a common link toward change and ownership in Glassell Park and other Northeast L.A. communities.
Transforming Space for a Better Community
Mitch O'Farrell, Senior Advisor for Councilmember Eric Garcetti, describes the process in creating the Glassell Community Garden and its meaning for the community.
Good Food Starts at Home
Maggie Darett-Quiroz, long-time Glassell Park resident and co-founder for the community garden, illustrates eating habits of the community.
Ironies of a Community Garden
Miguel Luna, Urban Semillas' Master Gardener, holds communities accountable for health problems and urges them to exercise their power by taking action in community improvement.
Hunger Action L.A.
Frank Tamborello, Director for Hunger Action Los Angeles, describes the importance of educating consumers with food policy issues in order to improve the system.