PCGC Is “Steeped” at A Tea Party


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Pasadena Community Gardens Conservancy got started when Brooke Garlock and Eileen Read invited about 100 gardening-loving friends to a tea party on June 18, 2012, to talk about creating a nonprofit to spur the creation of community gardens in Pasadena.

After much discussion, a group, gathering in the Reads’ garden, decided to hold the first annual “community gardens gala” and to create an umbrella stewardship organization. The theme for the “organic, local, fresh” fundraising dinner on Sunday, Nov. 4, at AKA Bistro: Can U Dig It?

Here’s what else we agreed to:

Precis

The city of Pasadena, California, is known by its motto, City of Trees. Its history of magnificent public and private gardens, famous garden clubs, and sought-after garden tours makes Pasadena a true “city of gardens” as well.

Now, some of Pasadena’s leading cultural, civic, and business leaders have come together to make gardening more accessible to the 54% of our fellow citizens who live in apartments – mostly without access to plots where they can grow fresh, healthy food to feed their families.

The Pasadena Community Gardens Conservancy will be an independent, nonprofit group of donors, incorporated as a fund of the Pasadena Community Foundation.

The new tagline of the PCGC:

“Growing a network of community-based food gardens, because a trowel in each hand means healthier living for all residents of our city.”

As longtime donors to gardening and beautification organizations in Pasadena, we are excited that two new community gardens have been established here by citizen groups in 2012, one at the corner of Navarro Ave. and Howard St. in Northwest Pasadena, on the site of a former liquor store, and the other 721 Pasadena Ave., south of California Blvd., on Caltrans-owned land was once the site of the ranch home owned by former California Governor Henry H. Markham. We plan to provide funding to enable citizen-gardeners to realize their dreams, with an ultimate goal of helping to finance a network of ten or more community gardens in Pasadena in the next decade.

In addition, we’d like to help underwrite a feasibility survey, with widespread community and government participation, to determine where Pasadenans next want to create community gardens; publish a “how-to” guidebook for would-be community garden committees to get started throughout Pasadena; and underwrite educational events related to food gardening.

Overall, we aim to create a permanent stewardship organization to sustain a Pasadena community gardens movement – based in Pasadena, and led by long- time Pasadena residents and garden-organization leaders, with open-book accountability and transparency that our city’s sophisticated donors demand.