Wrigley Garden

Updated: Jul 9

Wrigley Garden was such a special garden project.

From what I was told there was a ton of gang activity and bad stuff going down at the apartment building that was on the property. By the time I got there, it was an abandoned double lot. I moved into Wrigley in 2007 so I didn't live in the neighborhood when that was going on but I heard it was a scary place to be. Henderson Ave has a long-time reputation for being rough. 19th St & PCH is still a rough place to be. When we had the garden there were multiple shootings and for sure murders on the street.


The deal was that our city council office needed a temporary project to fill the lot because of the low-income housing that was slated, I tried my best to make a big impact in the little time and resources I had.



Looking back, I think it would have been better for the empty lot to be used as a playground since there was no open space in that entire part of town. Years later they built a pocket park by the LA River but I'm curious if many residents use it or know about it.


 


The 2-year community garden was built by myself and a few dedicated volunteers. I drove my little Tacoma over the Vincent Thomas bridge to get free compost from San Pedro since the city of Long Beach didn't ( and still doesn't ) offer compost. The City of Long Beach burns residents' waste to make energy so they don't have a green waste program, which is discouraging considering how unhealthy the air is for all of us from all of the port traffic. I digress.






Wrigley Garden was my first time working with the city, my first time as a community organizer, my first time teaching, my first time gardening on a large scale, my first time writing grants, my first time chicken keeping. I had no idea what I was doing... it is amazing what you can learn on YouTube! On top of the Wrigley Garden project, I was still working in LA on my film, TV, and design projects. It was a wild and busy time... but I knew we were building something special...bridging the inequality gap that was only divided by a street.



Through the tough LA commutes and learnings from the Wrigley Garden project, I realized my purpose. I had a design background, a scrappy attitude, and determination. Farm Lot 59 was born.