Loma Linda Community Center Garden
CURRENT COORDINATION – 2021:
- Soils were tested in August 2021 for heavy metals through Hall Laboratories and funds from the Permaculture grant. Additional tests were conducted through Colorado State University on arability of the soil. Soil testing results are still not available. New soils and compost were brought (paid for by LL funds) to support an abundant growing season using the raised beds, south side of building, and across the street in the newly established southern garden. The Southern Garden was sheet mulched with cardboard, compost, and cover crop in the spring, then planted up with native and edible plants in May.
- In 2021 Maggie hired support staff through the City and also began working with Lutheran Family Services. A partnership with Lutheran Family Services has funded a shade portal in the southern garden. Construction on the expansion of the Loma Linda Community Center will take place sometime between December 2021 and December 2022. This vagueness of construction has postponed the repair of broken water spigots in the building that supply the north side garden with water. The city has yet to provide LL the support it needs to get water into the southern garden to support community gardening in an essential and sustainable way. LL has met regularly with the City, the Urban Ag Project and the architects for the expansion. Recently it has been decided that the Urban Ag Project design plan for the northside of the garden will not be incorporated into the community center expansion. Funding (and water) is still needed to support the Groundwork Studio design on the southern garden. The Urban Ag Project’s recent partnership with Megan Marsee can possibly bring the southern garden assistance with rainwater infrastructure including Rainwater Harvesting tanks to collect run-off from Mission Academy School.
- Community Center youth participate in the garden in groups of ten with instructors during the growing season.
- The Loma Linda Community Center garden has a lot of buy-in from the local neighborhood associations. A multi-pronged approach to the build-out of the garden between the City, State and elected officials would be most appropriate.
- Soil testing is recommended prior to allowing individuals to eat any produce grown in the existing site soil.
- Access control is needed to minimize damage from vandalism.
- Actual donations of items are better than monetary donations for the City. City Councilors can use their discretionary funds to contract with non-profits and there is also one-time special project funding that may be available.
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS – 2019/2020:
- The Loma Linda Community Center (LLCC) currently has two community garden areas. One has raised beds and planters along the building and the other is across the parking lot to the south with in-ground beds and an adobe planter. The site was formerly a drive-in movie theater and there is concern about asphalt contaminants in the existing soil. Soil testing is recommended prior to allowing individuals to eat any produce grown in the existing site soil.
- The Loma Linda Community Center garden has a lot of buy-in from the local neighborhood associations.
- The existing raised beds at LLCC were built by the woodworking class at CNM. The Center could potentially partner with CNM to build more raised beds in the future.
- Community Center youth participate in the garden in groups of 10 with instructors.
- The City does not typically apply for grant funding due to time required and lack of trained personnel. A multi-pronged approach between the City, State and elected officials would be most appropriate.
- Actual donations of items are better than monetary donations for the City. City Councilors can use their discretionary funds to contract with non-profits and there is also one-time special project funding that may be available. The Miracle Grow Co. can fund equipment and supplies.
- The site experiences periodic vandalism, so access control is needed to minimize the damage.
1700 Yale SE
Albuquerque NM 87106
Therapeutic Recreation Program Supervisor