South Bay Center for Counseling (SBCC) has been an organization that has made a major impact for the lives of those near the ports. With this organization’s involvement they have been able to play a role in “Community Activation, Economic Vitality, and Capacity” to be able to thrive within the community of San Pedro and Wilmington.
With monies from the Port Community Mitigation Trust Fund through Round 7 of HCBF’s Community Benefit Grant Program, SBCC is addressing port-related issues impacting the community of Wilmington and providing access to a health-promoting community resource. With HCBF funding and additional support from other funders and partners, SBCC is converting a vacant lot into the Heart of the Harbor Community Farm. Wilmington residents have been excited to hear news about the 55,000 square feet community farm and many have volunteered to prepare the space. Octavio Ramirez, the Master Gardener, shared that volunteers have helped to clean up the lot, remove graffiti and repaint the walls, build 66 raised beds, paint a beautiful mural at the entrance of the farm, establish Moneta Nursery, and other activities to make this project a success.
In addition to the many volunteers, partners such as LA City Council, UCCE LA Master Gardener Network, LA Compost, Long Beach Beekeepers Association, Chandlers Sand and Gravel, and others have donated building materials, tools, gravel, plants, pollinators, tools and labor, monetary funds, a gazebo and greenhouse, educational materials for the community and other resources to establish this local farm. Water for irrigation has been an issue, but with necessary funding from LA City Council, SBCC was able to have water meters installed for the farm.
There are many benefits for adding urban farms in the community. Having urban farms and green spaces not only reduce localized air pollution and address heat islands, but to also provides a space for communities to gather, enjoy the health benefits of nature and fresh produce, and engage in recreational activities. There is already a waitlist for this farm, but please contact SBCC (www.sbcc.community or call 310-414-2090) for more information and to learn about other opportunities, educational courses, and community events at the Heart of the Harbor Community Farm or I Heart Wilmington Community Garden.