As interest in urban gardens grows in Pomona, city leaders are working to solidify processes for future projects across the town.
One such project was a proposal from the Food Cycle Collective, a composting-focused non-profit organization, to turn part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 800 West Lexington Avenue into a community farm and composting site. Convert.
If approved by the city council, the proposed farm would be located in the southeast corner of the park, a plot that city planners said would not interfere with normal park activities.
The plan, shared at the January 9 council meeting, would include two growing areas, each about half the size of a football field, a composting area, and bulk materials such as wood chips that would be used to maintain the walkways. Requires a small area for storage.
In addition, staff reported that approximately 10 feet of buffer material has been proposed along the south wall and fence line to allow for trails around the park.
The community garden is open to the public and no fencing is proposed at this time. This is very different from other similar green spaces in the city.
The city expects the community farm to spend about $2,000 annually on water, and the Food Cycle Collective is asking the city to pay for it out of the general fund.
At minimal cost, the city will purchase tools paid for from the park’s O&M budget to connect the new drip irrigation to the existing park irrigation system.
The costs of operation, maintenance and vandalism damages are the responsibility of the Food Cycle Collective. The consortium has extensive experience in developing and operating composting projects in Pomona, Ontario, Chino, Claremont and San Dimas.
There are already more than half a dozen community farms in the city, but not all are open to the public or operate in the same way, says Pedro Vasquez, a member of the Food Cycle Collective. said at the meeting on 9th May.
“I know there are certain farms here already, but I think we need more,” Vazquez said. “It will be very helpful (to the community).”
The group’s proposal led to discussions at the council about similar projects in the future and how the city could make the process more streamlined for other interested groups.
Interest in community gardens has grown in recent years, so city leaders want to see if an advisory group similar to the Arts Commission can be established as stewards of such initiatives. That way, we can move forward in compliance with regulations and frameworks.
Information is also required from the various city departments that play a role in approving such projects, including public works and development and neighborhood services, officials said.
The city previously had a similar agreement to transform the vacant lot into the current Buena Vista Community Garden, but the current proposal is a pilot program that will be evaluated before approving other future community garden locations.
No action was taken at the meeting, but the city council agreed that a process for future community gardens in Pomona must be established before the current proposal can be approved.
That sentiment echoes the comments of Stephen Yorba Patten, who oversees another local community garden, Lopez Urban Farm.
If urban gardening is to succeed in Pomona, he told the council at its Jan. 9 meeting that he wants cooperation among stakeholders, not just those behind the current proposal. “
A report on the initiation of a formal process, including standards and guidelines for approval of community gardens, will be submitted to the city council in the near future, according to public works director Rene Guerrero.