BRENTWOOD -- A group of far East County nonprofits have joined forces to create a Brentwood community garden, and, although the land has not yielded any produce yet, organizers hope that the 10,000-square-foot lot will become a safe haven that builds community spirit.
Located at 130 Sunrise Drive in Brentwood near Lone Tree Way and Brentwood Boulevard, the garden site is being cultivated by the nonprofits Giant Steps, Third Eye Coalition, Project One and Kurbside Kulture. Their collective mission is to empower residents to take sustainable action at the site through growing organic food and hosting weekly community dinners using the fresh produce.
"We want everyone to come together and bring their ideas and passions together in a non judgmental environment," said Third Eye Coalition board member Cory Miller. "People are realizing that the community is being separated and there isn't a sense of community anymore. It is not as communal as it used to be."
Over the past month, volunteers have been designing the garden, rotating the soil and creating compost. Organizers plan to reduce hunger locally and improve the nutrition of residents by providing fruits and vegetables to local food banks and help the environment while teaching young people about organic horticulture.
"The community garden is a great way to bring the nonprofits together, and it sparks awareness about the various virtues of growing your own food and eating healthfully," said Oakley resident Nick Lopez of Kurbside Kulture.
According to Miller, the project's motto is "ideas are seeds." There are also long-range plans to incorporate a Zen garden and allow the public to use the open space for parties or special events.
"It is a flat area that is open to the public. You can come here and experience your community," Lopez said.
Giant Steps owns the land and The House, which is an existing gathering place on the site for creative-minded youth to express themselves through music and art. Many of the garden volunteers are students from Freedom and Heritage high schools, Miller noted.
Miller added that the goal is to raise $1,200 monthly to sustain The House and grow the garden. Although they have received many donations, other items needed are organic seeds, ground cover, gardening tools, solar panels and lumber for raised beds.
"We all share one dream, and it is nice to find so many people coming together," Miller said. "We want people to come and experience it and to help plant and organize. It is everybody's community garden. We want everyone's input and ideas."
Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174 or firstname.lastname@example.org.