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The Chinatown Community Garden seeks to empower marginalized individuals in Salinas' historically troubled community of Chinatown. The garden and the volunteers who help run it help community member get access to fresh, local, organic produce as well as an opportunity for self-expression and personal empowerment.
The Service Learning Institute (SLI) of California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) developed a public green space and community garden on an abandoned lot, replacing urban neglect with beauty, nutritious food, and employment. The Garden was established by dedicated local marginalized individuals through a job-training program started in 2006. This 24,000 sq. ft. site, the Chinatown Community Garden is where people come to grow food. Garden beds are adopted by residents of the neighborhood and organizations. Each person or organization who adopts a bed takes care of and receives the bounty of their own harvest. The Garden is where 55+ community members (including Salinas’ youth, currently homeless individuals, and university volunteers) learn methods of sustainable gardening and natural building. Currently, the organizations involved with the Garden are: Hope Services, Clinica de Salud, Sustainable Salinas, Dorothy’s Place, Buddhist Temple, Confucius Church, United Way, and the Volunteer Center.
- Brendan Mitchel-Chesebro
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