Working on a new garden in Florence-Firestone

Jewish Federation, LA Conservation Corps, LA Community Garden Council, and Florence-Firestone Community Leaders work side by side to ready sites for a pair of new community gardens. The Jewish Federation is rallying Angelenos to end hunger in Los Angeles with its “Fed Up With Hunger” campaign.

On June 13, 2010 JF volunteers came out to prepare the land for a new community garden that will be one small part in that big effort. Youth from the LA Conservation Corps supported all the volunteers with tools and guided the planting of new street trees.

The LA Community Garden Council has leased the pair of lots under tall power lines from the LA DWP for the purpose of creating a pair of gardens with the guidance and support of the Florence-Firestone Community Leaders (FFCL). In February 2010 LACGC volunteers discussed the idea of a garden at the FFCL’s regular meeting and got a lot of good suggestions, like working on the garden in concert with both Drew Middle School and Fremont High School, and heard strong support for the garden idea.

To fence 850 feet of the gardens edges and to install basic hose bibs are large expenses for which there is as yet no funding identified, but lots of people are working on finding a funding source that will serve this need. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ staff have been extremely helpful to this project.

During the morning’s work the volunteers cleared away old tires, and litter of all sorts.It was particularly satisfying to retrieve and properly dispose of several gallons of waste motor oil that had been dumped illegally and which would otherwise have flowed to a nearby catchbasin and fouled Compton Creek, a tributary to the Los Angeles River.

Florence-Firestone is a 3.6 square mile neighborhood in un-incorporated Los Angeles County that is experiencing rapid growth in household size, with a projected population increase of 20% between the year 2000 and the year 2013 but without significant construction of new homes, giving Florence Firestone 4.55 people per household in 2008 compared to 2.56 County-wide. These figures in addition to low household income suggest that a community garden will be particularly useful to Florence-Firestone residents.

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