Experience Grassroots Laguna

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Editor,

Laguna is a close-knit community that supports creativity and art, that believes in protecting our natural resources, and offers unique opportunities that shape the life of its youth, but only because many of us have fought continuously to protect these unique qualities.  We have done this in the face of population increase, pollution, and development.  In short, the Laguna way of life is so treasured because we have had to work so hard to preserve it.

As a Laguna native, I believe the opportunities and programs offered in Laguna Beach to its citizens positively influenced me, especially as a child and young adult.  I am now a mother and have dedicated myself to developing the children’s program at the South Laguna Community Garden Park for over eight years.

For me, the Garden Park represents precisely what many of we locals have fought to keep.  It fosters community, improves the health of our citizens, educates the public, and provides recreation, all while attracting wildlife and beautifying a street corner that was once a vacant lot filled with trash and weeds. Some are opposed to the city spending funds to preserve the garden because they argue that it doesn’t serve enough members of the community.  Even if that were true, there are many activities that the city supports that are not used by all.

As the welcoming sign says, the Garden Park is open to the public from sunrise to sunset.  Visitors can be found strolling down the paths or sitting at one of the many tables or benches daily. Since the Garden Park’s opening in 2009 350 members who have built and maintained the garden have learned gardening skills and more about healthy eating.  Additionally, the garden has offered over 30 free public classes, and nearly 30 gatherings.

I would like to thank the City Council for supporting the Garden Park because to me, and to a lot of locals, the garden represents what we would like Laguna to be about. It makes us want to raise our own kids here.

If you’ve never experienced the magic of the garden for yourself, come to the next community pot-luck and hear the Garden Band play.  As always, the entire community is invited and it’s an experience somewhere between a barn raising and a hoedown that you’ll never forget.

Carly Sciacca, Laguna Beach

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Get in line a skate park was promised to our residents over 25 years ago. Village Laguna should prove it’s value to the entire community and support a skate park and then community gardens on a lottery system not the current pick choose your friends/donors for plots. If council wants a garden rip out their water wasting lawn in front of city hall and make it a garden the land is already paid for.

  2. Thanks Carly. Yes, the SL garden has served many SL residents and their guests well and provided a place to gather and enjoy the outdoors in a very populated and dense part of town. My grandchildren loved going to the garden to see our plot when they were younger and since we have no yard we spent a great deal of time there. I supported the SLCA garden committee in their fundraising efforts to buy the garden. This commitment was made years ago. In the big picture, minimal funds have been raised, certainly not enough to purchase a million dollar valuable PCH property.. To me this speaks volumes about the citywide need and support. I cannot support City funding over the initial $250,000 gift. Our City and South Laguna has more important needs to address that are being completely ignored.. I also do not support taking someones property by emenient domain. This power should not be used or abused by our City Ciuncil for this type of desire for outdoor space but saved for projects that truly benefit and serve a larger purpose and for economic development improvements as intended. This property owner has paid his taxes and if he wanted to sell it, it would be listed for sale. Encouraging the City to try using emenient domain to get this property will be a very decisive issue in our SL community and City and would tarnish every bit of “feel good” that has been nurtured there. I say, enjoy this space while it is available for free. SL has three other lovely city funded outdoor public spaces: SL park, Lang Park and Upper Park at Montage to enjoy.. South Laguna must get its priorities straight or as we already have experienced we are being left behind. We don’t need another public funded outdoor space. We do need sidewalks, parking and certainly public bathrooms. Where are our voices and SL representation for these infrastructure necessities?

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