The Garden of Compassion
It all started when...
A Redondo Beach landscape designer, Samantha Iacobello, saw the need to reclaim this small vacant lot and turn it into an amazing community garden. Having landscaped and gardened all her life and for 5 years in southern California, she was prepared to activate the Redondo Beach community with her ideas, concepts, designs, and models to get started.
In May 2016, Samantha created a Facebook event that would attract those in and out of the community that desired a garden that was accessible to the public. After learning the vacant lot was owned by the city of Redondo Beach, Samantha and the community presented a plan and budget at an open-session City Council meeting. At the time, the city promised to take the next steps to appraise the lot and get back to the community.
A year has passed and Samantha is still in the process of making this garden a reality. She needs your help!
The model and plan
The typical model of community gardens, in particular ones that operate in densely populated cities, is Rent-A-Plot Gardens. This model demonstrates by its name that there are limited spaces available to grow food, medicine, and other useful plants. It also perpetuates the idea that there ought to be a hierarchy in the community that wish to grow their own food but don't have the space. With this model we get longer waitlists, higher fees for renting, limited participation with other community members, poorer maintenance schedules, and an elitist mentality that prevents the socio-economically disenfranchised members of the community from helping to sustain a garden at all.
The Garden of Compassion Model will operate much differently. Since the goal of this garden is to serve the community through educational platforms, the garden will be sustained by yearly membership dues. The membership dues will be the primary source of sustainability so the garden can be developed, planted, maintained, and watered, while providing the public with educational workshops, harvest potlucks, local music and artist events, therapeutic healing, and a once a month Open-to-the-Public Day.
The proposed hours of operation for the garden will be from 8am-6pm daily.