RBCDC’s Community Gardening Program is flourishing! We have completed two children gardens and in the middle of constructing a one-acre community garden in the Riviera Beach Heights neighborhood of Riviera Beach. We know that community gardens are important and serve to provide a much needed food source. According to the American Community Gardening Association, community gardening improves people’s quality of life by providing a catalyst for neighborhood and community development, stimulating social interaction, encouraging self-reliance, beautifying neighborhoods, producing nutritious food, reducing family food budgets, conserving resources and creating opportunities for recreation, exercise, therapy and education. RBCDC recognizes the importance of community gardens and
The one-acre garden, located at 1010 W 10th ST, is actually within a designated food desert, an area with minimal access to fresh, healthy, and affordable foods. The garden will benefit more than 500 households, 16 churches and two schools in Riviera Beach Heights and serve as a model for the entire City.
The RBCDC’s Gardening Program will provide an opportunity for residents to learn about gardening and the importance of fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet. As the Gardening Program grows, we hope to connect the large garden with individual home gardens by encouraging residents to start their own garden.
To find out more about our children gardens, the Community Gardening Program, and upcoming activities, please visit our Community Garden Website by clicking here.
The Community Garden’s Professional Gardener, Kimberly C. Egbulonu, joined our team on June 17th. Kimberly brings a wealth of knowledge and over seven years of gardening experience. Kimberly, a resident of Riviera Beach, is certified by University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences as a Florida Master Gardener. Kimberly will be on site four days a week to care for the garden and bring gardening programs to the community. To welcome the Professional Gardener and officially open the Community Garden to the public, a dedication ceremony will be held in the upcoming months.
We Are Growing
A restroom and storage area/workroom will be built to provide a work area for the Professional Gardener and accommodate the needs of the visitors and volunteers helping in the garden. Tropical Shipping has graciously agreed to donate the shipping container that will be transformed into the restroom and storage area/workroom. This is an innovative approach to recycling called “upcycling” which will give new life to an old shipping container. The restroom and storage area/workroom is anticipated to be completed by April 2016.
Day of Installation Event
The Riviera Beach Heights Community Garden held it first event on Saturday, February 28, 2015. With the help of 63 volunteers the Community Garden was transformed from a series of empty boxes to being filled with vibrant vegetables and herbs sprouting out of raised beds. In weeks leading up to the Community Garden Installation – Day of Service, the General Contractor, All-Site, completed building the boxes for the raised beds, installed the lighting elements, installed the walking paths, and finalized the irrigation system.
Although the heavy lifting was completed by the General Contractor, it cannot be missed that the Community Garden would not be complete without the generous support of Home Depot and the hard work of the volunteers. Home Depot along with Bonnie Plants, Costa Nursery, and Riverview Farms donated approximately $600.00 in plants and seeds. This partnership supported the Community Garden by providing seeds, seedling, and fruit trees. In addition, a team of Home Depot employees came out and led volunteers in planting vegetables in the raised beds.
Volunteers from the community and from local organizations such as Citi Bank, God’s Loving Hands, All Site, Song + Associates, Urban League National Achievers Society, South Side Coalition, and Westgate Sheet Metal were eager to help get the garden off to the right start. The event was also supported by Chick-Fil-A which provided lunch for all of the volunteers.
The excitement of the event may be over but it has not diminished for many of the volunteers. A handful of volunteers are dedicating their time to making sure that the garden is watered and free of pests. Some volunteers have decided to go above and beyond a one day commitment and joined the Community Garden Advisory Committee CGAC. For more information about the Community Garden, gardening programs, and/or the CGAC, click here.