On Saturday, March 11th, residents gathered together at the Burbank Community Garden with local and master gardeners, city officials and representatives from the Parks and Recreation department to accept a check from Senator Portantino awarded by the 25th Senate District of California.
A break in the rainy weekend allowed for the perfect opportunity at the community garden located at 1141 North Pass Ave. The garden opened in May of 2022 allowing for plots of raised garden beds to be rented by residents for three year periods. The 12,000 sq ft lot is owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and leased to the City of Burbank, whose partnership has helped successfully launch and operate the garden.
Almost a year later and the garden is flourishing with life. Each plot is unique to its owner, with particular plants, vegetables, and decorations. A metal sign pressed into the soil of a garden bed reads: “Rachel & Zeb’s Garden EST. 2022.” Another offers a trellis for the climbing vine of snap peas, where large full pods hang by its side. Wine bottles full of water sit upside down and pressed into the rich brown dirt of some plots. If the soil becomes too dry, water is released from the bottles, helping to hydrate the garden slowly.
Mayor Konstantine Anthony and Councilmember Zizette Mullins were in attendance at the event, including former Mayor Marsha Ramos and Sharon Springer, who has played a vital role in the vision and progression of the garden. “The garden links us to our environment, to our Earth, and hopefully inspires us to be better stewards of our Earth,” said Springer, before welcoming Senator Anthony J. Portantino up to speak to the residents attending.
Senator Portantino unveiled an oversized check for $150,000 to the Los Angeles Community Garden Council to help support the two community gardens in Burbank. The second garden located at 3705 Clark Ave is still in the works. “I was deeply impressed by the wonderful sense of community spirit when I was invited to visit the new garden kickoff by Sharon Springer. How could I not help secure funding to enhance the effort when I had the chance? And this weekend we got to collectively celebrate and appreciate the terrific volunteers, supporters and staff who are making it happen,” stated Senator Portantino in a press release that went out from the Senator’s office. “Gardening as a collective community project improves the quality of life for residents in Burbank and creates a beautiful functioning food outlet and recreational space.”
The use of the money will be decided by the non-profit who has ideas for contemplation areas, workshop spaces, and more. “The State of California Grant that Senator Portantino secured will support two new Burbank community gardens featuring cool, green, safe neighborhood space, where families can bring their children and meet their neighbors,” stated Diana Campos Jimenez, Interim Executive Director for the Los Angeles Community Garden Council. “The Los Angeles Community Garden Council is happy to work in partnership with Senator Portantino to bring new opportunities for exercise, balanced diet and good health to Californians.”
You can learn more about the garden at burbankcommunitygarden.org.
Shameful. Just think for a moment how much food could have been purchased for that $150,000 dollars versus how much produce will or will not be grown. This is a huge waste of our tax dollars. Please ask BTAC if they could have found a better use for that money.
In candor, I mirror Mr. Schlossman’s concern about the use of public funds. I am surprised that the publicity around these grants is not more clearly stated to be a donation from taxpayers. Isn’t the check taxpayer funded? If yes, please state so. Thank you.