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A second garden grows

Community-run garden is in the works down the street from Monterey site.

May 11, 2010|By Melanie Hicken

CITY HALL — Inspired by the success of the Monterey Road Eco-Community Garden, which opened last year, volunteers are planning a second community garden down the street.

The City Council next week will review a proposal from the Glendale Kiwanis Club to create an 18-plot community garden at a city-owned parcel at 827 Monterey Road, which has sat vacant for years.

The nonprofit has pledged to provide materials and labor to construct the garden beds and a tool shed. Under the proposed agreement, the city would lend the land at a cost of $1 per year for five years and help with larger costs, such as fences.

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City officials say the garden would beautify the empty lot, which has sat vacant since its initial subdivision because a storm drain that runs underneath the property has prevented any private development.

“You’re taking these unused plots of land and turning them into serviceable property,” said Neighborhood Services Administrator Sam Engel.

The steering committee that operates the first Monterey Road garden has agreed to operate the proposed garden down the street, Engel added.

“I’m really excited that both Kiwanis and the city of Glendale have taken on this effort,” said committee member Alek Bartrosouf, who is also co-founder of the nonprofit Coalition for a Green Glendale.

The group spearheaded the creation of the first Monterey Road garden. The site opened last summer with 20 gardening plots, fruit trees, a display of California-friendly landscaping, a bird bath, composting bins and a bicycle rack. It is the first community garden in the state to use only recycled water.

The garden has already provided a steady crop of flowers and produce and dozens of nearby residents have joined a waiting list of people hoping for an available plot. Gardeners are required to pay an annual $80 fee, which supports maintenance costs, and agree to follow user rules.

“We know there is a demand for it,” Bartrosouf said. “There are plenty of people on the waiting list.”

On Thursday, the city’s Committee for a Clean & Beautiful Glendale voted unanimously to donate $5,000 to the proposed garden.

While some committee members initially expressed concern about the size of the donation, committee members ultimately decided it was a way to further the group’s mission of community beautification.

“I think it’s a statement that we put our money where our mouth is,” said Christine Walters, a Glendale school board member who serves on the committee. “It’s a real transformation. Ugly lots become beautiful.”


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