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Underused Strip of Downtown LA Becoming a Community Garden

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At just 2,700 square feet, it'll have room for 40 personal garden plots

A brightly colored parking garage on Spring Street, between Second and Third streets in Downtown LA's Historic Core, is about to get even more colorful, thanks to a group of Downtowners who have come together to transform a 2,700-square-foot strip of land between the building and the sidewalk into a community garden. The Downtown News reports that the garden has been in the works since last fall, though the actual moving of dirt and building of gardening beds got underway this year.

There are already 70 applications for the 40 eventual plots the Spring Street Community Garden will offer. The team of local volunteers working to build the garden are shooting for a late April opening day.

A quick Google Streetview of the spot shows that as recently as January, the garden space was a long, thin strip of patchy grass between a fence and the parking garage. The garden's Facebook page documents the property's gradual change from random underused grass patch into nearly complete community garden, and all the shovels and hammers that went into the process.

We worked under treacherously muddy conditions. Shoes were ruined today.

Posted by Spring Street Community Garden on Saturday, March 12, 2016

Some behind-the-scenes help came from the owners of the parking garage too. Thanks to a chance meeting with the chief operating officer of Joe’s Parking, the company allowed the garden to operate on the property for free for five years ("with extension options") and even donated around $2,500 to the project. An additional $15,000 came from Councilmember José Huizar's DTLA Forward, his plan to make streets friendlier to all modes of transportation and to promote more green spaces Downtown.

Membership at the garden costs $120 a year, though there are subsidized rates for those who qualify as low-income according to county median income stats. There will also be "larger communal plots" for applicants who don't get selected for their own gardening spot. (The individual raised garden boxes will be awarded to applicants via a lottery.)

We built, placed and leveled fifteen (15) raised garden beds today! And we're all still friends!

Posted by Spring Street Community Garden on Saturday, March 12, 2016