City Opens First Community Garden
Garden Is Latest Addition to Rosetta Canyon Sports Park
Seeds sown, herbs sprouting, vegetables and fruits primed to spring forth — Lake Elsinore’s first city-sanctioned community garden is now ready for cultivation.
The garden’s official opening at Rosetta Canyon Sports Park occurred Tuesday, March 20, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring remarks by City Councilman Daryl Hickman and other civic leaders. In attendance were several dozen participants and sponsor representatives.
“This garden is the latest addition to our incredible Rosetta Canyon Sports Park, which attracts residents, visitors and investment to our City each and every day,” Hickman told the audience.
Rosetta Canyon park partially opened in 2010 with a children’s playground, tennis and basketball courts, restrooms, picnic areas and turf. Those features occupied only about 8 acres of a 20-acre site for which the City needed more revenue to complete. Subsequently, City officials opened a dog play area in a vacant section.
In 2013, the City Council approved the concept of installing a community garden there in response to a campaign led by resident Sylvia Monaco. In promoting the garden, Monaco was inspired to perform a civic activity to honor her grandson, Ryan, who died when he was only 1. He is commemorated with a plaque and a memorial tree just outside of the garden.
Progress on this original community garden halted when the City embarked on an ambitious project to transform the entire 20 acres into a sports park featuring five top-flight ball fields, a combined football and soccer field with synthetic turf, and numerous other amenities. The sports park has proven very successful in hosting numerous regional and national tournaments.
As part of the sports park project, the community garden and dog park were relocated from the back side of the park to an area more readily accessible to the public.
The garden features 15 wood-plank enclosed plots in which individuals who are 18 and older as well as organizations can grow their favorite food sources.
More than 40 volunteers assisted in preparing the garden, which offers the benefits of neighborly cooperation, promotion of a healthy lifestyle, enjoyment of the outdoors, and enhancement of the environment.
The plots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis from March through February with a first-year fee of $30 per plot.
Joining the city in sponsoring the garden are Lowe’s, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District. CR&R and the nonprofit artists’ cooperative Studio 395.
Also collaborating on the project are the Lake Elsinore Unified School District, Lake Elsinore’s Rotary Club, the Elsinore Women’s Club, Home Grown Produce of Lake Elsinore and UCCE Riverside County Master Gardeners.
“It’s been great to see the interest we have had so far from the community in making this garden thrive,” Hickman said.