Mesa Urban Garden is a community organization that aims to create a community gathering space in the heart of Mesa’s downtown. Our mission is to inspire sustainable urban living through education, community involvement and creative cooperation to strengthen families and enhance and beautify our community.
Our stake in the community will be to offset the idea of a ‘food desert’ in the area by providing fresh produce directly to the community or to local food banks. There will be the opportunity to sponsor plots for communal use or individual plot use as well. We see the garden as becoming a point of pride for the residents south of Main and feather in the cap for the City of Mesa.
Organization and Team Description
Our organization is fully supportive of the iMesa idea to “foster the development of an urban garden in empty parcels close to downtown,” and we are ready to embrace this initiative. Community gardens are known for their many benefits including environmental, economic and social opportunities. With Mesa’s urban hub quickly evolving – especially with the future Light Rail and arrival of downtown campuses of Albright and Westminster College and Benedictine University – it is our opinion that a community garden will play a vibrant role in the downtown enhancements.
Project Goals & Implementation Plan
Our goals for Mesa Urban Garden include the following:
- Be a vibrant and aesthetically pleasing garden
- Act as beacon for the community, a point of pride for the community
- Increase area engagement and walkability
- Become a destination for commuter light rail travel
- Act as a meeting site for City or other community functions
- Provide an outlet for education
- Strengthen individuals and families
- Provide fresh, free, organic subsistence for the community
- Reduce urban blight
The garden would be open to the surrounding neighborhood and other members of the community. There will be special sections for youth as well as sections that will be designed to be ADA accessible. Products grown can be donated to the local food banks or even possibly sold at the local farmers markets, restaurants or grocers.
One of the specific programs Mesa Urban Garden would like to offer is to assist community members, particularly those in need, in acquiring fresh produce, in gaining knowledge on nutrition and cooking, as well as developing employment skills. We wish to strengthen our community and its citizen’s one person and/or one family at a time. Our hope is that this endeavor will be so successful, that the City will look to start gardens in other unutilized lots within Mesa.