The Los Angeles Community Garden Council recently celebrated the state’s allocation of $150,000 for two community gardens in Burbank.
Among those celebrating the funds were local community garden supporters, volunteers, Burbank officials and state Sen. Anthony Portantino, who secured the funding from the 2022-23 state budget after being introduced to the city’s community gardens by former Mayor Sharon Springer.
“I was deeply impressed by the wonderful sense of community spirit when I was invited to visit the new garden kickoff by Sharon Springer,” Portantino said. “How could I not help secure funding to enhance the effort when I had the chance? And this weekend we got to collectively celebrate and appreciate the terrific volunteers, supporters and staff who are making it happen.
“Gardening as a collective community project improves the quality of life for residents in Burbank and creates a beautiful functioning food outlet and recreational space.”
Local residents, the city of Burbank and the L.A. garden council have partnered to develop two community gardens in Burbank—one that has opened and one that is on the way. These are intended to create a collaborative, diverse and welcoming environment for people to grow produce and fostering environmental preservation and appreciation. The Sustainable Burbank Commission began the idea for the community gardens about a decade ago.
One of the gardens is located on Chandler Boulevard at Pass Avenue, and the other is slated to open at Hollywood Way and Clark Avenue this fall.
“I’m thankful for the support from Sen. Portantino and I’m thrilled to work alongside [the L.A. garden council] to bring these community gardens to Burbank,” said Mayor Konstantine Anthony. “Cultivating fresh produce, encouraging sustainable practices and raising civic engagement are a few of the many benefits to come. I can’t wait to see our residents and our community thrive.”
“The Burbank community gardens and Sen. Portantino’s monetary state support underscore the importance of starting a project, nurturing it forward to the finish line and a commitment to the ongoing care of the finished project,” Springer said. “An attitude and reflection of gratitude to each individual, group and organization is important to us as a community. We must continue to move forward with collaborative ideas that invite contribution, participation and community building. A project such as this connects us to the environment and our food supply in an intimate way.
“If we pay attention, we can clearly see the cumulative impacts of our actions and hopefully, we will be inspired to live in a way that is more thoughtful and respectful of our planet and our co-inhabitants here and around the world,” she added.
Plans call for the funds to be split between the two local gardens; the money is in addition to a $120,000 allocation by the city for capital improvements, a city official said.
The state funds also will support programming and education.
“Gardens are humbling; they come alive in the deep space of soil, the seasonal pulses of rain, and the powerful links of diversity,” said Kreigh Hampel, a member of the Burbank Community Garden Steering Committee. “In gardens, all of our living systems are breathing, connected, hungry and alive.”
Diana Campos Jimenez, interim executive director for the Los Angeles Community Garden Council, depicted the two Burbank community gardens as offering “cool, green, safe neighborhood space, where families can bring their children and meet their neighbors.
“The Los Angeles Community Garden Council is happy to work in partnership with Sen. Portantino to bring new opportunities for exercise, balanced diet and good health to Californians,” she added.
First published in the March 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.