Unofficial Garden Closing – 030219 Meeting Notes

About 100 gardeners waited in the rain on a cold Saturday morning waiting to enter the closed building to discuss the future of our gardens and how to fix the on-going water issue, little did we expect what happened.

The meeting presenters were Maria from Lot to Spot, Carlos, Julie Beals from the Los Angeles City Garden Council (LACGC), and representatives of Councilman Joe Buscaino’s office, Ryan Ferguson who is the Field Deputy to San Pedro and finally Jacob Haik who serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to the office.

Gardens topics addressed:

  • The unexpected water shut-off by sanitation. The 2-day a week watering schedule is back to normal again.
  • The garden is not accepting new gardeners until the garden issues are fixed including water.
  • Addressed the issue of sexual harassment in the garden. This behavior will NOT be tolerated and will result in garden revocation.
  • Mandatory vote initiated by Reps Jacob and Ryan on the future of the garden.

Reps Jacob and Ryan informed us, the City of San Pedro has given us these options:

  • Install an additional meter (separate from sanitation) only for gardeners use. Installation would be provided by the LA sanitation department. The allocation of respective water costs to gardeners would be uncontrollable or predicable.

OR

  • The City of San Pedro will close down the garden, renovate it up to city standards with proper landscaping and individual water meters and re-open in 1 year (March 2, 2020).

Reps Jacob encouraged a vote to take place before the meeting ended. All in attendance were given a piece of paper to either write “Yes” or “No” and the votes were tallied by Maria as follows:

Yes = 70%
No = 30%

The vote made it official to close and renovate San Pedro All Year Community Gardens (SPCAYG). According to Rep Jacob Haik’s statements which include, “it will re-open within 1 year”, or around March 2, 2020. “Everyone will have to reapply for their gardens” based on San Pedro residence. Some of the improvements will include better walkways and water meters provided to accurately charge gardeners.

This is an unofficial closing as the City will have to notify every gardener in writing of the garden closure or post a public notice to inform every gardener of what has happened and the garden will be closed for renovations.

Don’t let this stop you from continuing your gardening. Keep going to the gardens and growing your organic fruits and vegetables. The city will take some time to get this done correctly.

If you are unhappy with the City of San Pedro, do something!

Joe Buscaino is the Public Official ultimately responsible for the garden closing. You can let him know that gardening is good for the mind, the body, families, and to improve the air quality in San Pedro created by all pollution from the port. Eco-gardening is good, let him know! He is active online:

Joe Buscaino Twitter Page
Joe Buscaino Facebook Page
Joe Buscaino Instagram Page

Remember to vote.

If you would like to add or request a correction to any information you can leave the correction in the comments.

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