“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 is to help create, support and grow community gardens that enrich their neighborhoods by enhancing food security, promoting a sustainable environment and fostering community based educational opportunities and community building.
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!
Who we are:
An urban planner by trade, Emily has been thinking about food planning issues ever since she started her first vegetable garden as a teenager. Her passion for urban agriculture and activated public spaces remained constant throughout her studies and her professional planning work. With a solid background in city planning, active transportation planning, food planning, and community organizing, Emily has been most satisfied when she directly implemented the plans and policies she helped create. Emily has earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design Urban Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California. Most recently, she completed Wild Willow Farm School’s Basics of Small-Scale Sustainable Farming course.
Judy Jacoby- Founder and Executive Director
Judy is the founder and executive director of the San Diego Community Garden Network. She has been a Master Gardener with the San Diego Master Gardener Association 2003 where she has spent most of her time working with school and community gardens. In 2010 she founded the San Diego Community Garden Network where she has married her long time interests in public health, the environment, public service, and horticulture. From 2010 to 2012 she worked for the City of La Mesa as their Community Garden Consultant. A retired commander after a career in the US Public Health Service and the Air Force, she worked as an environmental health officer, an occupational health consultant, and a family nurse practitioner and a mental health nurse. In the following years she worked with at risk youth, attended the Ornamental Horticulture program at Cuyamaca College, and was project manager, introducing electronic prescribing in outpatient medicine setting.
Robert Lecusay- Education and Research Advisor
Robert is a father, husband, educator, researcher, and amateur gardener. He received his Ph.D from the interdisciplinary program in communication and cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego where he studied the design of science learning activities in informal, multi-media environments. As a member of the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition he has co-created and studied a variety of innovative learning activities. These activities have included creating Playworlds in a K-1 classroom, running an after-school physics telementoring program, and teaching a combined high school-college project-based urban agriculture course. At Green STEAM Communities he is responsible for developing, teaching, and assessing the Extension-Practicum courses, as well as for building and maintenance of STEAM installations. Robert has been working with the Network for the last year.
George Mercer: Landscape Architect, New Garden Advisor and Local Government Liaison
George has been working with the Network for the last two years assisting in developing gardens and helping them to create a landscape plan for the garden that reflects the vision gardener want to create. He has prepared plans for at least eight gardens over the last two years. The most recently completed garden is the Intergenerational Garden at Cuyamaca Garden and the Chula Vista Mosaic Garden is currently under construction. Several others are in the visioning stage. He is on the governing board for the San Carlos Community Garden. In his professional career George has worked on a wide variety of projects including, schools, environmental projects, residential and commercial design.
Ivan Rosero: New Project Development and Technology Advisor
Researcher at UC San Diego’s Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition, and Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Communication, where he is enrolled in the Science Studies and Cognitive Science programs.
Studies and helps to implement collaborative community partnerships that focus on science learning through urban agriculture, do-it-yourself digital sensor informatics, and environmental stewardship projects. With a degree in computer science and over six years of experience in the IT industry, he concentrates on integrating digital technology and informal science learning in everyday settings.
Roy Wilburn: Agricultural and Garden Education Advisor
In 2010 Roy Wilburn was hired as Sunshine Care’s Director of Horticulture following twenty years of experience as a commercial farmer. You can usually find him in one of the five organic gardens, producing high quality organic fruits and vegetables for the residents and those in need in the Poway area. Roy’s other responsibilities include maintaining Sunshine Care’s beautiful greenhouse, fruit tree orchards, Memorial Rose Garden and the landscaping of its 32-acre facility. As a Master Composter, Roy handles the compost and vermiculture programs. Twice a month, he is with local home-schooled children and residents, directing the Sunshine Care Garden Club’s “Seed to Table” program. He generously gives his time to many school and community garden projects and was invaluable in the establishment of the Backyard Produce Project located on the grounds of Sunshine Care that provides fresh fruit and vegetables to low income local residents in need of supplemental food.
He has broad experience in all aspects of agriculture that he is more than willing to share.
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.
Contact us at info@SDCGN.org