September 2012


United States
¦^Environmental Prptection

Prepared Under:
Contract No. EP-W-07-023

Prepared for:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization
Washington, DC 20460

Prepared by:

www. sra. com/environment



Executive Summary	1

Project Team	2

Report Organization	2

Part 1: Creating and Operating the First Community Garden	3

Phase 1	6

The Budget	7

Part 2: Creating a Network of Community Gardens and Food Distribution	11

Appendix A: Detailed Project Process	13

Appendix B: Candidate Site Form	15

Appendix C: West Fresno Community Garden Charrette Planning and Agenda	19

Appendix D: Workshop Posters	21

Appendix E: Charrette Survey Posters, Results and Recommendations	24

Appendix F: Budget Item Definitions	26

Appendix G: Partners and Leveraging	27

Appendix H: School Garden programs	28

References	29

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan	i



The Fresno Youth Council for
Sustainable Communities is a
partnership between the California
Center for Civic Participation, the
Center for Multicultural Cooperation,
and the Wangari Maathai Center to
develop and deploy well-prepared
youth advocates in fast-moving
regional and statewide decision-
making processes in the
sustainability realm.


CMC guided a youth-led brownfields
urban garden and food project in
southwest Fresno. CMC is a 501 (c)3
non-profit organization that provides
quality youth leadership.
coordinates the Fresno Youth

West Fresno, California, has been described by
the Brookings Institute as the forgotten corner of a
sprawling city. It is physically cut off from the
city by freeways, and has been hampered by
pervasive poverty and a lack of community
services and amenities. Also, there are many
brownfield sites that contribute to blighting

Despite these challenges, the community has a
strong sense of pride and resilience, and a desire
to improve its physical and environmental health.

Beginning October 2011, the Fresno Youth
Council for Sustainable Communities (FYC),
guided by the Center for Multicultural
Cooperation (CMC), sought to address two
concerns through one project: addressing blight
and food security issues through the construction
of one community garden on a brownfield. With a
grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), FYC and CMC identified a site
upon which to construct a community garden.

After gathering information, interviewing
stakeholders, and conducting research, there was a
realization that in order to effectively address
blight and food security concerns, the construction
of a community garden would just be the
beginning. The effort culminated in a community
workshop which revealed the following key

1. West Fresno community members:

¦	Would like to construct a pilot
community garden on the corner of Belgravia and Fairview Streets,
adjacent to Edison High School and Computech Middle School

¦	Are interested in a network of community gardens and food distribution

¦	Are interested in participating in a community garden as a volunteer or
plot renter

¦	Would like to see a garden program associated with their neighborhood

¦	Need to build working relationships with and support from stakeholders
involved in food security and awareness, including members of the local
government and school district

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan


2. In addition to the production area in a
community garden, the community would
like ancillary facilities and services such as:

¦	Facilities - Teaching/learning areas,
gathering areas, community art and
ornamental fences, and instructional
cooking facilities

¦	Services - Double voucher program,
educational programs, food
distribution, such as donation, and a
Fanner's Market or food stand

Project Team

The technical assistance used a collaborative team of
EPA partners, their consulting team and local
stakeholders, including:

EPA Region 9 staff

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USD A),
and Natural Resources Conservation Service
Fresno Metro Ministry
Fresno County Economic Opportunities

Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR)
SRA International

Report Organization

This report is organized into two parts. The first part
addresses the steps necessary to identify and
constmct the pilot community garden and ancillary
facilities project. The second part addresses
additional efforts necessary to build support for a
comprehensive program that incorporates a network
of community gardens with food distribution and

The report also includes appendices that contain key
project information. These appendices provide the
steps used in this project and can be used as a model
to assist other communities in using a youth group as
a catalyst for the creation of a community garden.


The project builds upon a previous
EPA supported project entitled,
'Transforming the Golden Westside"

esnoW/index.html). This community
engagement project was successful
in large part because of the
participation of CMC and FYC at
community meetings. Project
accomplishments include:

•	Presentations by national and
local experts to the community

•	Gathering community input on
brownfields and reuse ideas

•	Engaging Fresno Youth Council

•	Educating community on
brownfields redevelopment

•	Understanding brownfields tools

•	Creation a Community Action


A Food Desert is an area where
healthy, affordable food is difficult to
obtain. These are associated with a
variety of diet-related health
problems. According to the USDA,
two of the four Food Deserts in
Fresno are located in southwest
Fresno, (www.ers.usda.qov/data-


Additionally, there is only one full
service grocery in this neighborhood,
and very limited access to fresh
produce and healthy foods.

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan



The initial goal of the project was for the project
team to provide contract support to FYC and
CMC to identify, assess and begin the initial
steps in planning and constructing a community
garden on a brownfield in West Fresno.

Process and Milestones: The project team
assisted FYC and CMC in planning for the
community garden. The following tasks were
completed on the dates indicated. The results
are discussed in the subsequent sections, and
the detailed project process is found in
Appendix A.

1.	Assist FYC and CMC to identify
potential brownfield sites for the first
community garden in West Fresno:

¦	Narrowed target area -
November 2011

¦	Set site selection criteria -
December 2011

¦	Created an evaluation criteria
and matrix - December 2011

¦	Trained in the use of the
matrix and collection of data
from various data sources;
performed site survey
evaluation - the Candidate
Site Form used to evaluate
sites is found in Appendix B -
December 2011

2.	Assist FYC in conducting
environmental history on the
candidate sites:

¦	Evaluated data sources -
December 2011

¦	Collected and monitored data
collection - January 2012

¦	Assisted in the evaluation of
sites - January 2012


The City of Fresno (through the former
Fresno Redevelopment Agency) received a
fiscal year (FY) 2011 EPA Brownfields
Assessment grant, which could be used to
assess a site for an urban garden. In 2011,
EPA Region 9 completed an inventory of
brownfields in downtown and southwest
Fresno—identifying 545 potential sites.

Fresno was recently selected as one of six
cities by the White House Initiative Smart
Cities, Smart Communities (SC2), which
aims to leverage resources from several
Federal partners for the city's economic
development projects.

Fresno is also part of an eight county
Regional Planning Grant funded by the
Department of Housing and Community
Development, Sustainable Communities


In 2011, the City of Fresno produced a list
of potential brownfield sites within a one-
mile radius along Highway 99. In
workshops later that year, West Fresno
residents also identified potential
brownfields. Contact the City of Fresno for
further information on this list and efforts
to create an inventory.

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan


3.	Identify potential partners for urban garden support:

¦	Identified partner organizations, such as community garden operators,
advisors, master gardeners, food distribution organizations, technical
assistance providers, and funders - March 2012

¦	Defined the role(s) of each partner, such as planning, implementation,
funding, and/or regulation - March 2012

4.	Host a workshop (charrette) to inform and obtain ideas from the community:

¦	Determined the format of the workshop - February 2012

¦	Created posters, survey and program; trained presenters in poster station
presentations, program and agenda (workshop documents and agenda are
in Appendix C, posters in Appendix D, and survey questions and results in
Appendix E) - March 2012

¦	Evaluated workshop and survey results - April 2012

¦	Evaluated capacity of stakeholders to carry out recommendations - May

5.	Create an Implementation Plan and Final Report (this report) with both short-term
and long-term sustainability elements:

¦	Short-term - August 2012

¦	Long-term - August 2012

Vicinity: West Fresno is a neighborhood in
the City of Fresno with a population of
35,000. The composition of that population
is 49.9% Latino, 25.2% African American,
and 9.2% Asian, predominately Hmong.
The poverty rate is 51% and 53.7% of
housing is renter occupied.

West Fresno is bound by S.R. 99, Flighway
180, and Highway 41. The land use pattern
is a mix of industrial and commercial sites
interspersed with residential. Compared to
other neighborhoods, West Fresno lacks
public services and amenities. Agro-
industrial uses, major arterials and
topologic and climatological patterns
contribute to the worst air quality in the
nation along with the rest of the San
Joaquin Valley. The area has many
suspected brownfields from historical uses
as auto-related businesses, landfills and

Figure 1: Location Map (above) and Aerial
photo of site (below)

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan


Location: The first community garden is on the corner of Belgravia and Fairview Streets,
adjacent to Edison High School and Computech Middle School - located just north of the
Iiinton Community Center. It is composed of portions of parcels owned by the Fresno
Unified School Di stri ct and the City of Fresno. The site area is approximately 1.50 acres,
600 feet wide and 100 feet deep.

Site Analysis: FYC conducted an initial analysis of site history, use, zoning and site
features. It is currently an underutilized path and non-native landscaping strip. It is
recommended that soil samples be collected to determine if soils were affected from
possible past use as a road and from construction debris. Since the site is not fenced, there
may also be contamination from dumping. The site analysis will include a brownfields
Phase 1 and Phase 2 conducted by EPA contractors through the Targeted Brownfield
Assessment (TBA) Program. In addition, USDA will test the soils for analysis as a
growing medium. These data will also provide guidance for the use of existing soil;
whether there is a necessity for cleanup, import of additional soil, or construction of
raised beds.

Building Program and Garden Elements: The garden is initially expected to occupy
approximately 0.35 acres (15,000 square feet) of the site, with the balance of the site for
future expansion. The elements of the garden in the 0.35 acres are illustrated in the
schematic in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Schematic Layout of the West Fresno Community Garden, Phase I

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan


Phase 1

1.	Planting areas - raised beds and/or planting plots, and paths for about 75-100
people. There are several factors considered in determining the type of planting
area, such as nature and condition of the soil, user requirements, and disabled

2.	Gathering areas - areas for gardeners to congregate, such as plazas, sitting areas,
and playground.

3.	Teaching area - area for instruction such as a small amphitheater with semi-
circular seating.

4.	Support areas - includes tool and supply storage, and composting.

5.	Pedestrian/bicycle path, access areas and landscaping - location and configuration
of the site require that a significant portion of the site be dedicated as a pedestrian
and bicycle access connecting South Fairview to the west to South Lee Street on
the east. Landscaped buffers are also required per the zoning code.

6.	Expansion area - portion of the site to be reserved for future expansion, and
which may require some clearing and landscaping.

7.	Elements and features, to be located in one of the areas above, include:

¦	Bulletin board

¦	Farm stand to sell produce; can be incorporated into the gathering area

¦	Decorative fence and public art - donated or community-provided art

¦	Decorative shading covering portions of the teaching and gathering areas

8.	Utilities - for the first phase, include water and irrigation.

9.	Phase 2 possible future features - may be in expansion areas, or one of the areas
above, include:

¦	Electric service

¦	Teaching kitchen

¦	Rest rooms, including waste water service

¦	Farmer's Market space - may be located in the adjacent parking lot

Additional planning and meetings are necessary to refine the building program,
construction budget, possible project phasing, fundraising, and stakeholder organizing.
The planning will also address the construction program in the expansion areas.

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan



The preliminary estimate to design, obtain permits and construct the garden, including
start-up operating costs, ranges from $89,000 to $570,000. These costs were based recent
community garden projects and similar projects in the Fresno area. The low end of the
budget considers possible sources of in-kind design and management services, and
volunteer construction labor, as well as donation of materials, which could significantly
reduce the cost of construction. The high end of the estimate assumes that no donations or
in-kind services are obtained. This budget does not include the cost of a lease or purchase
of the site.

Garden Features




(See Appendix F for definitions)



Site Access (Lease or



Soft Costs

$ 12,000

$ 75,000

Environmental Site Assessment

Included in other grants

Site Preparation/Demolition


square feet

$ 5,000

$ 70,000

Planting Areas


square feet

$ 12,000

$ 120,000

Gathering Areas


square feet

$ 5,000

$ 20,000

Teaching Areas


square feet

$ 2,000

$ 8,000

Support Areas


square feet

$ 13,000

$ 104,000



square feet

$ 5,000

$ 45,000

Elements & Features


$ 10,000

$ 50,000

Project Management

$ 15,000

$ 37,000

Start-up Operations

$ 10,000



$ 89,000

$ 570,000

Future Features

Teaching Kitchen


square feet

$ 32,000

Rest Rooms


square feet

$ 24,000

Farmer's Market Space


square feet

$ 75,000

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan


Community Building Process and
Next Steps: To get to this point, FYC
and CMC conducted research and
convened a community workshop. In
order to realize the objective of
constructing a pilot community
garden in the selected location, the
following activities (in the general
order below) are necessary:

1.	Secure commitment for the
land from the Fresno Unified
Schools District (FUSD) and
city on the use of the
property. Representatives of
the city and FUSD have
indicated interest in
participating in the project.
The next step is to obtain an
easement or lease to construct
and operate a community
garden for a few years, or
until such time that the city or
FUSD have other needs for
the site.

2.	Conduct ASTM El 527-05
standard site assessment and,
if necessary, remediation. It
will be necessary to conduct
soils analysis and remediation
to ensure that the site is free
of contaminants. Further, the
city or FUSD may want
protection from liability
stemming from the
consumption of produce on
properties which they own.
EPA is working with the city
to do this work.

3.	Obtain project management
assistance to plan, construct
and operate the garden.
Neither CMC nor FYC have
the internal staff capacity or
expertise to carry out the
planning, development and


There are several strategies to reduce the need for

hard cash, These include:

•	Volunteer services and labor - labor costs are
the largest line item in the construction of a
community garden. Sources of volunteer labor
include the California Conservation Corps,
community work days for residents and area
employees, private companies, and charitable,
student and service organizations.

•	In-kind donations of materials and equipment
rental - Local retail outlets are good sources of
construction material. Construction companies
and owners of heavy equipment may donate
equipment time.

•	Staging construction schedule where the
primary functions are constructed first and
others follow as resources are developed.


Before any property is used into a community
garden, it is necessary to conduct an environmental
site assessment to determine the suitability of the
soil and ground water, and to protect current
owners and future users from liability and potential
environmental hazards. The following resources
are available to cities and community groups to
make this determination:

•	EPA TBA: A service provided through an EPA
contract in which EPA directs a contractor to
conduct environmental assessment activities.

•	EPA Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and
Cleanup (ARC) grants. Competitive grants to
states, municipalities or non-profits for
assessment and cleanup.

•	Kansas State University. Technical assistance
for planning and assessing potential garden

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan




Before a community garden is built,
zoning and building permits must be
obtained. Depending on the size and
location of the community garden, the
project may be exempt from obtaining
permits, or may require several
permits which could take months to
process and obtain. Currently, the
city treats a stand-alone community
garden similar to an agro-industrial
operation. This inhibits the
construction of community gardens.

The City of Fresno is currently
rewriting the Fresno General Plan in
order to streamline the permit
process and promote the
development of community gardens.

construction of a project. This would need
to be obtained through hiring new staff,
allocating time from current staff, training,
and/or obtaining outside assistance from
non-profits such as Fresno Metro Ministry
or private project managers.

4.	Strengthen the ties with partners and
participants identified through this project
to help carry out the planning and
implementation of the community garden.

FYC and CMC identified and
corresponded with many local partners
who work on development and operating
community gardens. The next step is to
develop working relationships in order to
facilitate the design and development of
the pilot community garden.

5.	Conduct additional planning and outreach
activities, such as:

¦	Convene meetings and workshops

o To identify and involve additional partners and expand the stakeholder
base for coordinating the planning, construction and operations of the
community garden, and to foster community ownership of the garden.
Additional stakeholders include churches, immigrants, state, county
and Federal partners, and community groups. Once the design and
operations of the garden are determined, it will be necessary to identify
volunteers or to obtain the services of persons to prepare permit and
building documents, and to construct and operate the garden.

o To finalize the size of the garden and the type of garden operations.
Stakeholders were interested in participating in a variety of ways -
either as collaborative growers, plot lessors or volunteers. The
operations of the garden will vary based on the mode of operations,
and will influence the building program.

o After the mode of operation is determined, marketing efforts are
necessary to identify and obtain commitments from community

o To identify volunteer and lessee commitments.

¦	Refine planning, design, permit, construction and operations budget. The
$89,000 to $570,000 preliminary budget will be refined based on a final
design, and construction documents. In-kind material donations and
volunteer labor will be identified, estimates will be developed, and bids
procured for remaining items.

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan


6.	Obtain funding and in-kind contributions for planning, construction and initial
operations. CMC has obtained verbal commitments for financial assistance and
some grants for the project. With more concrete plans, CMC can request funding
from foundations, benefactors, and local, state and Federal funders.

7.	Obtain planning and building permits for the garden. Once funding is secured,
land use and construction permits may be obtained from the city and other
regulatory agencies.

8.	Obtain agreements to:

¦	Complete construction documents and build the garden

¦	Operate, manage and plan for the pilot garden

¦	Develop a plan to distribute produce from the garden

¦	Coordinate school garden activities for the pilot garden

¦	Coordinate ancillary project elements, such as art, beautification and

¦	Coordinate volunteer participation and in-kind donation programs

9.	Evaluate the performance of the pilot community garden and determine the
feasibility of future community garden projects, food distribution and education

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan




Produce from a community garden
can be distributed in a combination of
different ways. The produce may be:

•	Donated to senior centers, Food
Banks, schools and other

•	Sold to volunteers at a discount

•	Sold a Farmer's Markets or food
stands - in certain instances,
persons with food vouchers can
double their purchase

•	Distributed individually to plot



Im tjC >Tw • *•

mete? XSm J
JL ,1 '

It may be necessary to obtain permits
and approvals from regulatory
agencies before food can be
distributed in some of the methods

The goal of the technical assistance to FYC and
CMC was to identify a site for a pilot community
garden. Over the course of the project, FYC and
CMC determined that building one community
garden is an initial step. To ensure the continued
operation of the first garden and the vision of
FYC and CMC for redevelopment and food
security in West Fresno, an expanded network of
community gardens, food distribution, and
community education, the following activities are

1.	Obtain program management assistance,
primarily through technical assistance,
partnerships, funding and capacity
building. FYC and CMC identified and
should tap many local partners (see
Appendix G) that can provide project
development and management assistance,
capacity building and technical assistance
in development community gardens and
creating food distribution strategies. Some
of these partners may also be trained for
program activities which are not currently
available in West Fresno.

2.	Strengthen the ties with partners and
participants identified through this project
to help carry out the planning and
implementation of the development;
design, site identification, analysis and
acquisition; construction of community
gardens; type of operations at each garden;
food distribution; and education program.

3.	Conduct additional planning and outreach activities in order to:

¦	Reach stakeholders from underrepresented communities such as migrant
workers and immigrants, the Flmong and Latino communities, and current
residents of Fresno Housing Authority and senior housing communities

¦	Identify partners to coordinate the planning, construction and operations of
the community gardens and to coordinate food distribution

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan


¦	Assess the willingness and obtain the commitment of FUSD and
individual school locations to participate in a school garden program
(Appendix H describes the components of a school garden program and
provides resources for setting up and operating a school garden program)

¦	Obtain assistance from the City of Fresno to identify brownfields that are
suitable for short- or long-term use as community gardens

4.	Obtain funding and in-kind contributions for program management and

5.	Work with the city to modify policy and permit requirements for community

6.	Obtain agreements for the planning, design and construction of a community
garden network to:

¦	Plan and build

¦	Operate and manage

¦	Distribute food

¦	Obtain funding and in-kind contributions

¦	Coordinate school garden activities with the community garden network

¦	Coordinate ancillary programs, such as art, beautification and education,
and volunteer participation programs

7.	All coordinating, operating, construction and maintenance activities in the effort
to create a community garden network will require a full-time equivalent person
during the period of expanding the network. It will also be necessary to obtain
assistance, paid or volunteer, in various fields of expertise, such as legal,
engineering design, brownfields and other disciplines.

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan



There are many steps involved in identifying a site and constructing a community garden
(described in more detail below).

1.	Set a project schedule and milestones. Key milestones are:

¦	Identify candidate sites

¦	Conduct analysis and visit alternative sites

¦	Obtain site access to assess the sites

¦	Conduct a workshop to provide information to and obtain feedback from
the community

¦	Based on the results of the workshop, recommend next steps

2.	Identify potential brownfields for the first community garden in West Fresno.

¦	Determine location criteria. It was important that the site was within a
five-minute walk from Edison High School, and preferably immediately
adjacent to the school.

¦	Interview key community stakeholders for candidate sites, including
community leaders and neighbors, as to sites that could be included for

3.	Identify potential partners in the community that can provide assistance:

¦	Stakeholders, such as community groups, churches, representatives of
underserved and disadvantaged communities

¦	Design and engineering for various community garden elements, in the
form of in-kind services, volunteer work, donation or fee for service

¦	Funding, resources and technical assistance, such a Federal, state, non-
profit and private businesses, and foundations.

¦	Regulatory agencies, such as the planning and building departments,
environmental regulators, and utilities

4.	Conduct environmental history and amenity review on the candidate sites:

¦	Create candidate site form to guide the collection of data on each
candidate site (found in Appendix B)

¦	Interview Planning Department and other city staff for information on
each site

¦	Research history and site characteristics on city records and online

¦	Interview current and past occupants, operator and owners (where

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan


¦	Visit each site, take photos and evaluate for information in the candidate
site form

¦	Evaluate each site for suitability as a community garden

¦	Evaluate each site for brownfields characteristics

5.	The workshop is a key event where information is exchanged among the project
team and the community. The event format depends on a number of factors. The
planning information for the West Fresno community garden charrette is found in
Appendix C. The following should be taken into consideration.

¦	Information that will be shared by the project team.

o Presentation materials and methods, production, interactive or
passive, visual or verbal, or other method

o Profile of the expected audience

o Budget, presenters and/or guest speakers

¦	Information that will be collected from the community.

o Method of collecting information and obtaining feedback
o Level of participation desired from the community
o Informing participants of follow up activities

¦	Logistics such as location, date and time, marketing, cost.

6.	Analyze the data collected during the workshop.

7.	Determine the next steps to implementation, including funding, follow up
planning, design, construction and operations.

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan



Candidate Site Name:	

Address/Location of Candidate Site:

Use this form to conduct research on each of the candidate sites. Fill
out a new form for each site evaluated. Use the local resources in the
'Sources' columns to assist in finding the necessary information.
Record results and answers to the questions in the middle column.
Include follow up questions or issues at the end.



¦	Conduct research and answer the following questions

¦	Include as much detail as is available

City- Police - Fire

City - Planning

City - Building

City - Utility


Library - Polk
Directory/Sanborn Maps


Ask Stakeholders

Is there immediate
access to water?


What was past use of


Who owns the site?


Is the area zoned for
urban garden?


Would the zoning allow
for urban garden


Are Sanborn Maps
available for review?


How large is the site?
Whole or partial site?



Are there potential
impacts to adjacent







What is the distance to
other facilities (kitchen,



West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan



¦	Be sure to bring a camera and take lots of pictures

¦	Observe and describe the following

Accessibility: Can you
walk to it? How far is site
to school?

Visual Clues: Building:
peeling paint

Visual Clues:
Building/site contents:
drums, machinery

Visual Clues: Site: Slab,
stains, cracks,
equipment, drainage,

Visual Clues:
Neighboring properties'

Are the safety concerns
on the site?

Are there potential
physical hazards (e.g.,
busy road, dilapidated
fence, other) on/near

Is there existing fencing?

Are there visual clues to

Sun: Shade/partial
shade/full sun (6-8 hours)

Sun: Source of shade

Sun: Orientation
(southwest, south,
southeast, northwest,
north, northeast)

Soil: Texture (sand/

Soil: Drainage (wet-

Topography: Flat or

Water Access: Onsite or
neighboring site

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan


Water Access: Type and
proximity to garden,
future plots

Access: Shed or tool box

Access: Composting site

Estimate of # of plots

Visibility (safety and

Access: Parking

Access: Restrooms

Access: Power

Access: Site history
(parking lot/gas

Access: Vehicle
access/curb cut

Follow Up

Who would pay for water
long term?


Would owner grant
access to public?


Would owner keep


If still unknown, past use
of the site


Is soil characterization

Soil: Depth of topsoil
(where darker soil ends)


Soil: Compact/loose


Soil: ph level (soil test)


Soil: Nutrient levels (soil
test): N-P-K


Soil: Lead or other toxins
(soil test)


Interest/involvement level
of neighbors



West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan


Demographic profile





Neighborhood: Crime
(drugs/vandalism/ violent



Neighborhood: Animals
(deer/ raccoon /dogs)



Other Questions/Issues

¦ Include any additional questions or site observations

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan



Community workshops are excellent ways of sharing information with stakeholders. Care
must be taken in planning workshops to assure that stakeholders remain engaged in the
project. This is done by making clear the objective of the workshop and any feedback that
is needed from the community.

For the March 20, 2012 workshop (charrette), the challenge was to provide a substantial
amount of information to the community, obtain feedback, and allow time for
refreshments and networking in less than three hours.

1.	Information shared by the project team: The project team had a wide variety of
information to share during the workshop, including:

¦	Elements and features of a community garden

¦	Types of operations in community gardens

¦	Different ways a community member can participate in a community garden

¦	Candidate locations for a community garden

¦	Farmer's Markets in Fresno

¦	School gardens

It was determined that the best way of communicating a substantial amount of
information to the community was through a brief presentation and poster station format.
Key speakers and poster presenters were recruited. The content of the posters was
developed by key resource persons, and poster presenters were trained and briefed on the
information to present. The posters presented are found in Appendix D.

2.	Information that will be collected from the community: Based on the information
presented on the posters, the project team sought community feedback on the

¦	Interest and type of participation in a community garden

¦	Elements desired in the community garden

¦	Interest in a school garden

¦	General location of a community garden

¦	Interest in a Farmer's Market in West Fresno

It was determined that the best way of obtaining feedback from the community was
through "dot voting" on survey posters - using stickers to indicate participants' votes
on a poster. The survey posters and responses are found in Appendix D.

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan


3.	Meeting logistics: Considerations for the location and timing of the workshop


¦	Low cost venue with the capacity for the number of people expected to attend
the workshop

¦	Ability to provide refreshments

¦	Convenience and accessibility to most stakeholders identified

¦	Maximum exposure of the workshop to the community

¦	Maximum participation from students and residents

It was determined that the Edison High School auditorium/cafeteria was the facility that
met location requirements. The project team identified co-conveners and co-sponsors to
generate interest in the meeting. Invitations were delivered by email and in-person in the
immediate area. It was also advertised on the radio.

4.	Agenda: Based on the requirements above, the following agenda was developed:

¦	Registration, introductions and project background provided by
representatives from the area Councilmember and project team leaders - 30


¦	Poster station presentations - 60 minutes

¦	Voting and refreshments - 40 minutes

¦	Reporting back on results and next steps - 20 minutes

5.	Lessons Learned: Overall, the charrette was a success. Lesson learned include:

¦	Advertise in as many media outlets and methods as possible

¦	Encourage community leaders and groups (i.e., churches, housing
development managers, schools) to distribute the information

¦	Interactive programs require many volunteers to help manage the program as
well as other logistical issues such as registration, refreshment distribution, set
up and cleanup

¦	A well developed and transparent meeting agenda helps manage participant
expectations and facilitates their feedback

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan



West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan



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West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan


The alternatives offered to and choices made by the community are summarized below.

1.	Type of garden participation: The choices for type of participation are:

¦	Plot renter: a person leases a plot from the garden management and grows
produce for themselves.

¦	Volunteer: a person volunteers time. The produce is donated or sold by garden
management, and volunteers can purchase produce at a discount.

¦	Collaborative grower: the garden produces a few crops for sale and a person
participates as a team member and receives a share of the net income

Community members would like to participate most as a volunteer (34 votes), although
there was also support in participating both as a plot renter (18) and as a collaborative
grower (18). Additional outreach is necessary to determine which mode suits the

2.	Interest in a school garden program: An overwhelming majority (70 to 11) would like
a school garden program associated with the high school. Additional outreach and
coordination is needed with FUSD and individual elementary, middle school and high
school to determine the interest and next steps in implementing a school garden

3.	General location of a community garden: Four general locations (north of Edison
High, west, and east and southeast) were offered. The community preferred the north
(30) and southeast (30) locations the most. The selected site is on the southeast corner
of the Edison High campus.

4.	Interest in a Farmer's Market in West Fresno. An overwhelming majority (50 to 3)
would like a Farmer's Market in West Fresno. The preference for day and time are:

¦	One weekday, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM: 9 votes

¦	One weekday, 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM: 48 votes

¦	Saturday/Sunday	38 votes

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan



Site Access: Involves the costs involved to assess the site and to operate a community
garden on a site. This includes Rights-of Entry, easements, leases or purchase.

Soft Costs: Includes costs such as design, engineering, permits, inspections and other
work conducted prior to construction.

Environmental Site Assessments: May involve soil and/or groundwater sampling, All
Appropriate Inquiry Phase I, and if indicated, Phase II, remediation work plans, sampling
and analysis plan, and other studies to determine the condition of the soil and
groundwater and any measures to mitigate contaminated material that may be present on
the site.

Site Preparation/Demolition: Clearing the site of non-toxic, existing improvements that
are not needed for the project, including debris, vegetation and structures, in preparation
for the installation of community garden improvements.

Planting Areas: Areas to plant vegetables, including raised beds, plots and rows. This is
usually dependent on the type of operations of the community garden.

Gathering Areas: Places for gardeners to congregate, including plazas, playgrounds, and
sitting areas.

Teaching Areas: Places for community members to receive instruction, such as
amphitheaters and seating areas.

Support Areas: Facilities that support production, including tool and seed storage and
composting, as well as parking and portable toilets.

Path/Landscaping: Circulation areas for pedestrians and bicyclists, and buffer areas to
separate the community garden as determined by the Zoning Ordinance.

Project Management: Activities such as coordinating all technical and planning
activities, fundraising, and planning to design and build the community garden.

Start-up Operations: Initial funding to operate the community garden before other funds
or revenue can be generated for ongoing operations. These include the cost of seeds,
utilities, legal fees, permits, maintenance and sanitation.

Teaching Kitchen: An instructional kitchen to demonstrate how to cook and prepare the

Farmer's Market Space: A dedicated or shared location to set up a Farmer's Market. These could
include a plaza or a parking lot.

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan



The Fresno Youth Council and Center for Multicultural Cooperation identified several

local and national partners that can assist in planning, constructing and operating a

community garden and food distribution system.

1.	The California Endowment (CalEndow) is a foundation promotes fundamental
improvements in the health status of all Californians. CalEndow has been providing
financial support to CMC to pursue this project, (

2.	California State University (CSU) Fresno

¦	Central Valley Health Policy Institute (CVHPI) seeks equity in health and
healthcare by developing the region's capacity for policy analysis and program
development, implementation and evaluation through integrating and
leveraging the resources of CSU Fresno and the institutions and communities
of the San Joaquin Valley, (

¦	Department of Food Science and Nutrition engages in mutually beneficial
collaborations with industry, professional organizations and public agencies to
improve community nutrition, (

¦	Department of Plant and Science provides education in modern, scientifically
based, economically sound, and environmentally wise agriculture.

3.	Fresno Metro Ministry (FMM) provides structural, technical, and network support to
for community gardens. FMM participated in planning and hosting the charrette,
evaluated the proposed site and provides general technical assistance. FMM
coordinates the Fresno Community Garden Coalition and has close relations with
many organizations operating community gardens, (

4.	Fresno Economic Opportunities Council (FEOC) bridges the gap to self-sufficiency
by providing opportunities and resources, as partners in shared community efforts to
improve the quality of life. FEOC participated in planning and hosting the charrette,
and provided technical assistance on Farmer's Market operations, (

5.	University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) has a variety of programs to
support community gardens and nutrition, such as their Master Gardener program,
4H, Health Families and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.

6.	Edison High School is adjacent to the site of the first community garden and the host
of the community workshop.

7.	The USDA Rural Development and Natural Resources Conservation Service support
sustainable, nutritious, abundant food supply and thriving ecosystems that support a
diversity of life. NRCS participated in the charrette, and will provide soils analysis
for candidate garden sites, (

8.	The City of Fresno Planning and Building Department is updating the Fresno General
Plan to facilitate the development of more community gardens. This necessitates
formulating and adapting new policy, zoning and building regulations.

9.	Kansas State University provides technical assistance for the development of
community gardens. KSU can conduct soil assessments.

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan



At the March 20, 2012 charrette, the community expressed support for the incorporation

of a school garden program. The elements of an effective program include:

1.	An academic program. Classroom teaching is essential to relate what goes on in the
garden, kitchen and dining table. Once students have experiential learning to draw
from, they drastically increase retention in their academic learning. An academic
program needs dedicated teachers and master gardeners covering a wide curriculum,
such as biology, botany, and math. Some programs also provide training in organic

2.	A kitchen/cooking program. Kitchen training exposes students in the preparation of
nutritious and delicious dishes by hand using produce they have grown in the garden.
Kitchen training is a tool for teaching history, geography, reading, art and writing.

3.	A lunchroom program provides students who consume most of their daily calories at
school, an opportunity to nourish students' minds as well as their bodies. When
locally grown produce supplies a school lunch program, students come to know their
community and their farmers understand where their food comes from, and practice
making healthy choices for themselves.

Links to selected school programs:

1.	California School Garden Network: Resource for lessons and curricula, teaching
tips, best management practices and training materials, (

2.	Edible Schoolyard Project: Teaches essential life skills and supports academic
learning through hands-on classes in a one-acre organic garden and kitchen
classroom. Curriculum is fully integrated into the school day and teaches students
how their choices about food affect their health, the environment and their
communities, (

3.	California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom: Develops scientifically
sound classroom materials, programs and training opportunities for K-12 students to
explore the sources of food and other agricultural products, (

4.	School Garden Wizard: Teacher resources to establish a school garden program.

5.	University of California at Davis: Selected resources for school garden programs

6.	Checklist for Starting a School Garden


7.	HealthCorps®: Building a movement to fight childhood obesity by getting to the
underbelly of the crisis and discovering what Americans are really hungry for and
why and then proposing a remedy, (

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan



Edible Schoolyard, Berkeley, What is an Edible Education? 2012.

Fresno Metro Ministry, Community Gardens Tool Kit.

SRA, International, West Fresno Brownfields Action Plan, 2011.

Trust for Public Land, Budget and Design for Canal Community Garden, San Rafael, CA,

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Steps to Create a Community Garden or Expand
Urban Agriculture, (

U.S. EPA, Brownfields and Urban Agriculture: Interim Guidelines for Safe Gardening
Practices, 2011 (

Photo Credits: California School Garden Network, Center for Creative Land Recycling,
Center for Multicultural Cooperation, City of Fresno, Fresno County Economic
Opportunities Council, Fresno Metro Ministry, Google Maps,, U.S.
Department of Agriculture/ Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington (New
Jersey) Community Garden Association.

West Fresno Urban Garden Implementation Plan