Tuesday November 25th 2014
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STAR Education to Grow Community Garden

STAR Education, through its SAGE (Sustainable Agriculture Gardening Education) Project, is spearheading a campaign to develop a new community learning garden in Culver City to serve the population here and on the Westside of Los Angeles. STAR’s goal with the SAGE Project is to create an innovative new experiential learning garden that will meld the gardening spirit and goals of the Westside community with a groundbreaking educational experience for LA’s youth. There are currently two potential sites under discussion, one close to the intersection of College Blvd and Jefferson Blvd, owned by West LA College and the other a six acre plot currently owned by the LA County Board of Supervisors in the Baldwin Hills Conservancy. STAR Education is reaching out to the community seeking potential steering committee members and supporters to take part in forming and planning this new community garden.

Currently, the City of Culver City only has one community garden that has been at capacity for years along with an expansive waiting list. As of June 2011, according to the LA Times, there were over 30 names on the waiting list with only 16 plots even available. And only a quarter of those have changed hands over the last few years.  The need for a new community garden is not simply to provide movement on a waiting list. It is to address the serious health and nutritional issues that face our children today. This is serious issue for Lee Wolkowitz, SAGE Project Manager, “As we become more and more aware of the serious health issues that have begun emerging into every community, it’s time we do something proactive and productive instead of watching and waiting. Let us work together in the creation of a new community garden that will not only provide a healthy atmosphere, but also a healthy life style.”

Goals for the SAGE Project include:

•Start a sustainable agricultural and garden education program

•Develop a core volunteer base and stewardship program

•Provide access to healthy organic, non-processed foods to those in need

•Create opportunities to conduct ongoing research for students in local colleges and schools

•Create an orchard that is highly visible, instructional and a draw to the garden.

•Create an outdoor kitchen and patio for groups to cook, eat and socialize as well as provide healthy and non-processed food to those in need

•Begin a Water Wise California Native Plant Garden Initiative and a Backyard-to-Food Production program

The SAGE Project is at a critical stage. “This is a very promising sign for the future of community gardens in our own city” states Ginny Blades of Transition Culver City, “Looking forward to lifting our shovels with Lee & the STAR crew”. Our goals are to begin forming a steering committee, gather support and collect names for potential plot assignments. If this garden is to become a reality, we need your support. For more information or to be placed on our mailing list please email sage@starinc.org or visit sage.starinc.org and start receiving updates about the community garden project.

The SAGE Sustainable Agriculture Gardening Education project is a division of STAR Education. Its mission is to provide Culver City and surrounding communities with a center for sustainable gardening and agricultural practices. Working alongside our collaborators we are creating a hub for environmental education, which will promote community building, better health and more knowledge about food security through building a garden learning center.

STAR Education, is a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization committed to helping students reach their full potential by offering affordable extended academic, recreational and enrichment programs; supporting and enhancing school curricula; inspiring student achievement; and expanding the cultural base of young people. For 25 years, STAR has partnered with schools throughout California to involve students in our innovative, quality programs taught by exceptional, highly-trained instructors.

WHO: STAR Education’s SAGE Project

WHAT: Spearheading a campaign to develop a much-needed experiential community learning garden

WHERE: In Culver City/the Westside

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Visit sage.starinc.org, or call (310) 910-1909 for further details about the project, current news and more information on how you can get involved in this exciting and vital community venture.

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