The West Athens Victory Garden sits on .62-acres and opened in 2014. Providing a respite from the highly dense, asphalt environment, this green space has grown into to community hub. There are 28 fruit trees and 6 shade trees that provide shade and nourishment, along with dozens of community garden beds.
Other features include , a walking trail, a children’s play area, a bioswale to catch run off and allow water to be filtered back into the ground, and a rain catchment system to supply water to the garden.
The food from the garden and fruit trees and produce are vital in this community where there is little to no access to fresh, healthy food. Residents now have access to a variety of produce including swiss chard, kale, collard greens, snap peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, okra, strawberries, squash, white squash, leaks, corn, passion fruit, pomegranates, figs, limes, and blood oranges. Soon there'll be avocados, apples, peaches, pineapples, pears, and loquats too.
In order for West Athens Victory Garden to continue to thrive, the Land Trust has a community gardener model in place with a focus on long-term environmental stewardship. Community members have the opportunity to take classes on a monthly basis and have access to tools they need to grow fresh and healthy food.
Your donation will go to support trainings and tools to keep the gardens and trees thriving.
The West Athens Victory Garden combines two climate-change fighting strategies to multiply its impact, through the 28 fruit trees and 6 shade trees planted, the compost generated and plowed back into the soil, and many tons of food produced annually.
The total reduction in greenhouse gases for this project is 234,752 lbs of CO2.
Because the project's cost is $1,640, the BOTTOM LINE is that you reduce 140 lbs of CO2 for every dollar you donate!
Trees offers some of the best and most cost-effective ways to sequester carbon and cut greenhouse gas emissions from energy use. As they grow, trees incorporate carbon into their roots, trunks, and branches. But that's the smallest difference they make in the fight against climate change. In a dense, hot city like LA, their real power comes from their ability to reduce the urban heat island effect and to keep buildings cool so there's less need to run energy-guzzling air conditioners.
We can all feel the difference in temperature between a tree-lined street and a barren stretch of wide sidewalk. Concrete, asphalt, and most roofs capture the sun’s energy, holding it and raising temperatures. Trees do the opposite, cooling local buildings under their shade and preventing the build up of heat in the neighborhood generally.
Over the next forty years, the trees will absorb more than 225,802 lbs of CO2 into their growth. That’s not even including the reductions from the lowered temperatures.
There’s more – the 1,000 lbs of compost generated and plowed back into the soil will prevent the release of 1,000 lbs of CO2 if the same materials were landfilled and petroleum-based fertilizers had to be used to grow the food.
Lastly, the use of the local, organic food by the 30 participating families, in place of processed food and meat, and instead of food trucked in from far away, will reduce a total of 7,950 lbs of CO2.
CUFR Tree Carbon Calculator, developed by Center for Urban Forest Research, Pacific Southwest Research Station, US Forest Service, in partnership with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. http://www.fs.usda.gov/ccrc/tools/tree-carbon-calculator-ctcc
Favoino E, Hogg L. 2008. The Potential Role of Compost in Reducing Greenhouse Gases. Waste Management & Research 26 (1): 61–69. doi:10.1177/0734242X08088584.
Lou XF, Nair J. 2009. The Impact of Landfilling and Composting on Greenhouse Gas Emissions – A Review. Bioresource Technology, Selected papers from the International Conference on Technologies and Strategic Management of Sustainable Biosystems, 100 (16): 3792–98. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2008.12.006.
Weber CL, Matthews HS. 2008. Food-Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2008, 42 (10), 3508–3513 DOI: 10.1021/es702969f.
Kulak M, Graves A, Chatterton J. 2013. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions with urban agriculture: a Life Cycle Assessment perspective. Landscape Urban Plan, 111, 68–78.
Kim B, Neff R, Measurement and communication of greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. food consumption via carbon calculators. Ecological Economics (2009), doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2009.08.017
Sarah DeWeerdt, 'Is Local Food Better?,' World Watch Magazine, May/June 2009, Volume 22, No. 3. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6064
The LA Neighborhood Land Trust’s mission is to grow healthier, safer and stronger communities by creating small, accessible urban parks and gardens that help remedy the critical lack of green and recreational spaces in greater Los Angeles’ underserved neighborhoods, and to ensure participation and collaboration among low-income residents throughout the process of envisioning, building and managing the parks and gardens they create.
For updates and photos on the progress of the West Athens Victory Garden, check out their Facebook page.
The LA Neighborhood Land Trust is working to make open space a reality for all low-income communities in greater Los Angeles, but they need help from people like you.
The West Athens Victory Garden has up to four volunteer opportunities each year that are typically 3 – 4 hours each. In addition, the 30 families that are members of the garden commit between 2 – 10 hours each week to working in their individual garden beds as well as in the garden common areas.
They're also looking for assistance with community organizing, activity programming, park and garden work, office support and more. Learn more and sign up on their website at http://www.lanlt.org/volunteer.php.