Plans to create community gardens are taking root in Temecula and Murrieta.
A pair of community garden proposals has sprouted independently of each other at the same time in the neighboring cities. And while both projects are aimed at benefiting seniors or other recipients, they are sprouting in different directions as planting season approaches.
The Temecula City Council approved its garden plan in November and allocated $24,000 to launch its effort. Murrieta has not set aside any funds, but officials will detail their plan and volunteer and corporate involvement at a community meeting that will unfold from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’re gearing up for the spring to get this up and going,” Councilman Gary Thomasian said in a recent interview. He referenced Murrieta’s garden proposal during a state of the city presentation that he made as mayor in late November.
At that time, Thomasian said the garden is one Murrieta is showing that it is “a community with a heart.”
Murrieta’s garden plan calls for the city to set aside an acre near Alta Murrieta Sports Park. The garden, which could be expanded later, would initially raise row crops for senior programs or community pantries. Fruit trees and possibly other crops could be planted in future years.
There is no plan at this time to create a component of the program in which residents could rent a gardening plot in the garden for their individual production, officials said.
The program is expected to draw upon volunteer labor from church groups, Salvation Army, Produce for People and other nonprofit organizations. Local stores, gardening outlets and landscaping companies have been enlisted in the food production and distribution effort, Thomasian said.
The city plans to subsidize the garden’s irrigation costs.
“I think it’s a real collaborative effort to get this up and going,” he said.