Groundbreaking for Community Garden in San Rafael

September 7, 2012

Residents of San Rafael will be able to grow their own fruits and vegetables in a new community garden being developed in the city, The Trust for Public Land announced.

The ground-breaking event for the Canal Community Garden will take place Saturday evening at the intersection of Bellam Boulevard and Windward Way, said Philip Vitale, project manager for The Trust for Public Land.

“This is a very diverse neighborhood, but one thing the residents all share is a strong culture of locally-grown food,” said Vitale.  “The people who live in this neighborhood are generally of Vietnamese, Hispanic and Thai heritage and they want to grow the foods which are important to them.  This garden is a way to help them reach that goal.”

“We believe that ultimately, more than 100 families will be able to grow fresh, organic produce in the garden,” Vitale said.

In addition to having almost 100 garden plots, the community garden will have an education space for community gatherings and gardening classes. Vitale says one of the community’s priorities was a space that was more than just a garden. “The community really wanted a place for people to socialize, share gardening tips, and cultural heritage.”

An active community of gardeners began the project almost 10 years ago when the expansion of the Pickleweed Community Center displaced a small community garden.  Six years ago, The Trust for Public Land joined the effort, working with local residents, community organizations, and local government officials. 

The Trust for Public Land protects land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural spaces.  Since it was founded in 1972 in San Francisco, it has completed more than 5,200 conservation projects in 47 states.