FRESNO — Five months ago, the southwest corner of Belmont and Poplar avenues was nothing more than a dirt lot in the shadow of a freeway overpass.
Today, it’s in full bloom with healthy fruits and vegetables – food that neighborhood residents painstakingly planted to share with their families.
Against this lush, green backdrop, the Lowell Community Garden project was dedicated on Friday (Aug. 17) with the neighborhood residents and the community partners who made it possible. Leaders from the City of Fresno, Fresno Metro Ministry and PG&E — which supported the garden with a $20,000 grant earlier this year – were all on hand for the celebration.
Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin handled ribbon-cutting duties with Tom Matott, Fresno Metro Ministry’s garden coordinator, at an event where supporters talked about the impact of the garden on the community and on their lives.
Several of the neighbors shared how the garden has helped their community spirit bloom. Residents said the garden has brought people from different walks of life together to learn skills that will help them and their children in the future.
Cindy Pollard, manager of government relations for PG&E in Fresno, said she hoped the flourishing garden would provide healthy food for Lowell neighborhood families for years to come. She said the project is a perfect example of PG&E’s goal to support communities where the utility’s customers and employees live and work.
The Lowell project, modeled after Fresno Metro Ministry’s two other community gardens in underserved areas of the city, had been discussed for two years as a way to help this struggling neighborhood. Located near Lowell Elementary School, the neighborhood has been plagued by poverty, crime and debilitated housing.
But things have been improving thanks to residents who refuse to give up, and the Lowell Community Garden project is another sign of this momentum say supporters.
To learn more about PG&E’s community investments, click here.