Meet Monterey Road Eco-Community Gardens
Between 2008 and 2012, the city of Glendale transformed a few unused plots of land into the beautiful Monterey Road Eco Community Gardens. The Monterey Road East garden opened in 2008 when the City of Glendale dug up a truck parking lot and made it into a community garden. A year or so later, the city converted a nearby vacant lot into the Monterey Road West garden. And, the Geneva Garden was part of a 2012 Habitat for Humanity low income, sustainable housing project. The gardens have around 60 members who represent the diverse cultures in Glendale.
My garden tour host was Steve Spiller, chair of the garden steering committee. He spotted the community garden driving down Monterey Road one day, and immediately stopped to inquire. After two years on the waiting list, he became a gardener; and has enjoyed growing his salsa garden ever since. He says that it’s the garden managers and gardeners that truly make the gardens special. The garden is not that old, but has accomplished a lot already. The gardeners come together for workshops and volunteer days; and they spread the word about gardening and composting at the city’s Earth Day celebration.
Steve is most proud of the great partnership the gardens have with the city of Glendale. The city supplies water, mulch, and grants to make garden improvements. This year, the city subsidized the addition of pergolas in each garden. One unique feature of these gardens is their use of the city’s reclaimed water; water that is safe for plants and other living things, but is not for human consumption. Each gardener must go through training and get certified before using the water.
Did you know that the city of Los Angeles reclaims 80 million gallons of water per day? The LA and Glendale Reclamation Plant has been producing reclaimed water since the 1970’s. According to their website, “…The plant’s highly treated wastewater meets or exceeds the water quality standards for reclaimed water for irrigation and industrial processes. This water reuse conserves over one billion gallons of potable water per year…” To learn more about reclaimed water, take the Glendale plant’s virtual tour.
By Eileen Zwiers