Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thank You Connected Corridor!

Since opening this summer, The Wrigley Garden has fed 40 plus families from its raised garden beds on the site of two former drug houses. The subject of a recent LA Times article celebrating the positive effects of gardening on the community, the Wrigley Garden is a two-year project located on land owned by the City of Long Beach. Supporters include The Long Beach Neighborhood Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation, Wrigley is Going Green, The Long Beach Community Foundation, Connected Corridors, 6th and 7th District Council Office, and Parks Recreation and Marine.

Our mission is to create a positive environment for the youth and their families through gardening, sustainability practices, nutrition and exercise. This urban garden serves not only the Henderson Avenue residents but also neighbors along the LA River corridor. In addition to creating a garden that puts food on the tables of families, our vision is for this garden to serve as a demonstration garden for the gardenʼs future site. We are currently

working with district seven as well as the cityʼs Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine to develop a one-acre site in Wrigley Heights.

In the short amount of time that the garden has been in operation, we have already seen a huge change in the neighborhood. Henderson Avenue is heavily impacted by gang activity and crime. With the presence of the garden, there is less crime, and a burgeoning sense of community, with neighbors looking out for their common goals and needs. We are also a fresh set of eyes looking at a neglected neighborhood. Per our request, the Long Beach Police Department has also stepped up their patrols of the area, which is a deterrent for the drug trafficking that often takes place on this block. This project, with the help from the Connected Corridor and the connections we have made through the grant process, will make a difference in the lives of the Henderson Avenue residents, and could be a model for the city of Long Beach. We hope our project will become an inspiration for other communities throughout Long Beach. The Wrigley Garden is thriving, and has become an innovative and cost-effective model for what residents can do when we work together.

On behalf of Rachael and myself I would like to say thank you to Carina and all the good people at Connected Corridor. We look forward to all the good things to come in Phase IIII and throughout Long Beach. Thank you!