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play / 2021

Building Community in an Urban Green Space

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Fountain Community Gardens

Building Community in an Urban Greenspace is a program to encourage safe community engagement, sustainable healthy living, and increased access to a rare neighborhood amenity - an organic community garden, where people can gather around the benefits of a green oasis in a densely populated urban area. The FCG Steering Committee will plan, organize, and host innovative workshops and creative garden events to connect, teach, uplift, and enrich our beneficiaries while supporting the environment

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Other:: High Population Density Area

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

We’ve all heard of the many adverse effects of high population density in our urban areas. High population density has been linked to the spread of disease, increased crime, and unhealthy living. Population density invariably affects many, and that surfaces in high obesity rates, the loss of open spaces, and poor quality health. The problem of high population density must be confronted effectively to guarantee better management of these problems. Research has shown a positive correlation between population density and obesity in middle aged and older adults. In 2020, a global study of the virus demonstrated a link between the virus’ spread and population density. Often, Population density is the culprit of many of the cities’ pain points. How does Building Community in an Urban Green Space address these urban problems? Building Community will confront population density by bridging the connection between increasing open garden hours, program benefits, and program participation.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

Increased hours, an available garden workforce, and community support, all anchored by a friendly green space, are the primary targets for the grant funding. To serve residents of the high density area, this program will start by increasing the number of scheduled hours at the garden. The goal will be to create a maximum number of garden engagement opportunities during this grant program period. During scheduled hours, visitors should have direct access to planned enrichment offered through innovative workshops, events, and other garden engagement. In addition to making increased scheduled hours possible, this grant should also fund the planned enrichment including innovative workshops, events, and other garden engagements. The costs associated with this project will be controlled under marketing, entertainment, transportation, and labor budgets for Extended Hours and Community Engagement. This Building Community model is unique in that it will require stakeholders to actively engage solutions to population density by growing their community garden. Ideally, this project will support stakeholders as they explore the best innovative solutions to population density with an emphasis on the community garden. In the event of any disruptions, during this programmatic journey, and or if there is a failure to lift restrictions, the grant related activities will be amended and provided via ZOOM, GOOGLE MEET, TEAMS, OR JITSI.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

In a post Covid world, Los Angeles County would be able to use more community garden areas or natural green spaces. Sadly, converting concrete urban areas for gardening is beyond the scope of this application. For a garden experiencing population density pressures, the most direct and affordable solution to any garden problem, is to do what it does best – grow the organic gardening community. That being the short-term goal, and basis for increasing scheduled hours, the long-term impact will be derived from the benefits of garden enrichment take-aways. At the close of this project our aim will be to ensure stakeholders are aware of the benefits of healthy organic gardening in an urban area. Throughout project work, we will track membership numbers, and community engagement using workshop attendance, surveys, questionnaires, and checklists. While managing project specific objectives, the challenge will be to complete the full scope of our project within budget and on schedule.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

This program is prepared to look at the impact of increased scheduled garden hours and a public engagement program. A significant product of this program will be the beneficiaries, stakeholders, and high density residents. During this program, stakeholders will be brought into early project planning to increase the garden’s visibility, and help inspire beneficial community engagement around organic gardening. This program has already begun early organizing with project stakeholders and a project kick off scheduled to occur in June 2021. Subsequent meetings with steering committee members, current gardeners, and other stakeholders will further our first steps towards successful project planning. Ultimately, iterative measures of stakeholder involvement and stakeholder satisfaction will help refine major milestones throughout the project planning, and an increased and continuing number of satisfied beneficiaries will communicate a secondary milestone of successful programming.

Which of the play metrics will you impact?​

  • Obesity
  • Access to open space and park facilities
  • Perceived neighborhood safety

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the best place to CONNECT
  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE