On February 18, 2013, the East LA Learning Garden and Mott Street Farm welcomed the local community to celebrate its Grand Opening! Thanks to generous donors like you, this two-year project has officially launched its efforts to provide fresh, affordable produce to community residents, valuable outdoor classroom space for students and a gathering place for community workshops and activities. A portion of the food grown on the site will be donated to a local food bank and restaurant partners have agreed to purchase their produce from Mott Street Farm to help pay for the operational expenses of running the site.
The day began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in which the Garden's supporters were recognized, along with some of the founding members of the Mothers of East LA, who had created the first garden on the site over 20 years ago. Bruce Saito - Executive Director of the LA Conservation Corps and Alex Lopez - Director of the LA Corps' East LA Center were joined by Al Renner and Teague Weybright of the Los Angeles Community Garden Council, partners who will operate the Mott Street Farm to cut the green ribbon. Ta-Lecia Arbor from the City of Los Angeles was also present to lend her support. The Garden was featured on the local ABC News as well as the Spanish-language station Univision 34. Please check out the links below to view the stories!
There were a variety of activities to introduce the community residents to the new garden space - many commented that they had been watching the progress our corpsmembers were making in transforming the lot from a weed-infested hillside to a beautiful community asset. Chef Marissa Ayala conducted a cooking demonstration to show residents how to make quick and easy dishes from fresh produce from the garden. Students from the neighboring Soto Street Early Childhood Center and local elementary school helped plant lettuce and radishes. Two citrus trees were planted - with more to come - and residents were able to take trees home to plant in their own gardens.
In the upcoming months, the corpsmembers will be installing a water catchment system (capturing rainwater from the roof of the gazebo) and building a composting center. We will continue to raise funds to conduct community workshops on water conservation strategies, composting at home and nutrition. For more photos of the Grand Opening celebration, please visit our photo album by clicking on the link attached below or going to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lacorps.
Thank you again for helping to make this day possible!
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