- Closing date: August 1, 2019
- Reopening date: March 1, 2020
- Councilman Joe Buscaino
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:
Reps Jacob and Ryan informed us, the City of San Pedro has given us these options:
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:
Remember to vote.
If you would like to add or request a correction to any information you can leave the correction in the comments.
Every time the water is cut off unexpectedly, you are hurting people and families who depend on their gardens to feed their families with the vegetable they grow.
There are many people struggling and growing their own food is a noble aspiration. Times are hard. People are having a real crisis with affordability in our city with rent, transportation, and food cost so high here. Gardening is an important aspect to supplement this crisis and shutting off the water unexpectedly is shutting down the ability for people to feed their children and themselves.
The Los Angeles City and Los Angeles Sanitation department should respect the gardeners and provide adequate representation to resolve water issues in a timely manner. These problems are solvable with the right adults sitting down to resolve it.
March 2, 2019
100 W. 5th St.
San Pedro, CA 90721
It has been about 3 months since the meeting with Maria From Lot to Spot and nothing has improved at the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens (SPAYCG).
There has been no word to the gardeners if nothing of the ideas presented at the meeting is moving forward. Maria and Julie from the LA Garden Council presented at the last meeting and there seems to have been no progress made.
A vote was to be arranged to move ahead with the proposals presented by both Maria and Julie, yet no meeting or votes have been scheduled.
The watering schedule is still limited to 2 days. Most gardeners maybe water 1 day per week. Each day the water is only for 3 hours. So, the garden is in bad shape again.
2018 is almost over and the SPAYCG is in the same situation as 4 years ago when the Sanitation department first cut water to the gardeners.
The city needs to do something again if these organizations they bought on don’t do anything soon.
There were 2 speakers:
Maria from Lot to Spot and Julie from the LA Garden Council. The meeting lasted 2 hours. About 87 people attended.
They provided updates as to the issues at the garden with the water and the future of the garden.
The Sanitation department cut the water to the gardeners because Mayor Garcetti ordered a 20% water reduction at all city facilities.
Gardeners were unaware of this and suffered because of non-communication from the sanitation department.
In order to get the garden back to working condition in all aspects of water, leadership, and finances decision will have to be made.
The 2 biggest decisions facing the gardeners is to vote on 2 measures:
A) To accept the LA Garden council assistance to organize the garden and leadership.
B) To vote to install a new separate water meter which would increase the cost of having a garden.
The Sanitation department will pay for the installation of a new separate meter.
Watering schedule changes every 2 weeks because they are running tests as to why there is low water pressure.
Engineers came in to analyze the issues with water pressure. There is a report of the findings.
Redoing the piping to all the gardens with the new water meter will very expensive, a grant will be needed to fund the project.
Each has its good and bad.
At a future meeting, the decision will be made on these issues.
Really good LA Times article written by Joe Mozingo about the garden on June 4, 2018.
Again, Sector 3 is burdened with additional 4 “lotes” lots.
The water schedule is still subject to change every 2 weeks. The reason given, “The changes are due to the fact that some areas are not favored with water.”
This makes no sense. What areas? Seems like Sector 3 should have more watering days, not adding more “lotes” to our watering days. See no reason for the schedule change when nothing else is changing. All areas are given an equal number of watering days. As it stands, we only get 4 watering days out of 31 days of August all front loaded at the beginning of August. What about the last 2 weeks of August. Plants need water at the end of the month too.
Gardening on 13% water in the month of August is a joke. How is this gardening?! This is absolutely ridiculous. Can’t others (Carlos) do math to see that 250 gardeners cannot maintain gardens on 13% watering. Not to mention, this is only for 3 hours on those days. Sigh!
The watering schedule arranged by Carlos (Board) has inequality built in again. Carlos and the “Board” consistently makes bad decisions.
The biggest issue with this water inequality schedule is in Sector 3. Sector 3 was the most affected by the water source being closed on the north side, no water for almost 3 years while other sectors did. Then, with the pipe reconfiguration, many were left without proper piping and/or irrigation.
Now, to add insult to injury Carlos is burdening Sector 3 water-load to 8 areas ( #1, #13, #14, #15, and +4 lotes (lots)). It makes not sense to have another 4 “lotes” included in Sector 3 when all sectors have their appointed watering days and times listed on the schedule. Unless Carlos is opening the water to other sectors when he should not be. Carlos needs to be questioned about this decision.
Sectors 1 and 2, the least burdened, only serve water to 5 areas. Remember each area serves about 40-50 gardens, so the more areas, the more water is required and the longer hours needed.
Making a schedule that changes every 2 weeks is bad. This means we don’t know when water is going to be available consistently and without change. Also, it would help if there were watering days in both the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM). This would also help spread the water load to different times. Now, people are forced to use it at the same time, causing low water pressure, and not enough water. People have different schedules and by not offering both leaves gardens to die.
Once again Carlos and the Board have made decisions that are bad for the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens. They have let down the gardeners they are meant to serve. This trend of bad decision making will continue with Carlos and his appointed “Board” until they are replaced.