On the morning of February 25th, on the corner of 14th Avenue and 44th Street in Sacramento, a vacant lot with overgrown weeds and trash stood as it had for many years before. By late that afternoon, the same area had been transformed into a community garden with the help of passionate volunteers. Members of the community, mobilized by groups receiving HUB support, spent the day clearing the area of debris so they could build and install six raised-bed planter boxes.

Further adding to the positive shift to the area, the site is adjacent to the Home Cash Market, a corner store that once was a magnet for criminal activity.  Now under new ownership, the Market has agreed to no longer sell liquor and has also committed to offer fresh fruits and vegetables to help improve the health of its customers.

The event’s lead coordinating group was Ubuntu Green, and its President and CEO, Charles L. Mason, Jr., couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

“We have been looking forward to this event for a long time,” says Mason, “ Not only are we, along with our partners, able to remove an eyesore and a danger to the community, but we are also able to literally sow the seeds of good health for this community.  Finally, we can’t underestimate the value of the “community” in community gardens – over the long term they have been proven to bring people together, and we expect the same to happen here.”

Many groups came to together to make the new community garden a reality including the Sacramento Yard Farmer, students from Loyola Marymount University of Los Angeles as part of their Alternative Spring Break, and residents of the Oak Park neighborhood where the garden is located.  The project was made possible by the generous support of Alchemist CDC, Soil Born Farms, The California Endowment, Bank of America, the California Wellness Foundation, DoSomething.org and the Sierra Health Foundation.