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By Miriam Raftery

February 14, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove, a community that has its roots in agriculture, will soon be getting a community garden—complete with fresh, organic vegetables, an adjacent flower garden, and a butterfly-friendly garden.

The City Council has approved a proposal for the Lemon Grove Community Garden group, a nonprofit organization, to plant the garden at the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Olive Street.

The garden will be planted in over 50 raised beds, including eight that will be accessible for wheelchair gardeners. Water-efficient drip irrigation will be used.

The nonprofit group will lease land from the city free for two years while it grows its own funding sources through grants, donations from local businesses, and community memberships.

Members will be able to plant and tend their garden plots from dawn to dusk seven days a week, but must follow certain rules, such as not growing marijuana plants.

The organization also plans to partner with Thrive Lemon Grove and Lemon Grove HEAL Zone to raise funds. In addition, it has support from San Diego State University’s Sage Project, which provided student support last year to research how to set up a community garden for the city, among other potential civic improvements. In its report, the Sage Project stated that by providing the community with a dedicated area to grow its own produce and opportunities for community

Involvement, the city could enable its residents to “develop a greater sense of community that helps foster healthier and active lifestyles.”

Walt Oliwa, spokesman from the Lemon Grove Community Garden Association, told Council he expects the garden will be ready for its grand opening this summer.

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We need many more of these in every community.