Urban garden to bring row crops, walking paths to southwest Fresno community

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A vacant, dusty piece of land will soon make way for a lush urban garden.

Fresno city leaders broke ground Tuesday to mark the launch of the Yosemite Village Permaculture Urban Farm and Community Garden.

"West Fresno historically has been the biggest food desert in our city but with this garden, it will home to the biggest garden in the whole city of Fresno," said councilmember Miguel Arias.

Sitting on 7.5 acres, the plan is to transform the space into community gardens and row crops for neighbors to grow their own produce and feed themselves.

Officials say healthy options are often times hard to come by for families living in the area.

"You'll see these parcels will be different fruits and vegetables and then we'll have row crops in the back of us and everything will be connected through bike trails and walking trails," Arias said.

The project is fully funded by a state grant to help transform an area that has long struggled with extreme poverty and health disparities.

"They just let us know hey I want to rent this space. There will be a small yearly fee and they get to use the water and grow as much food as they want. We'll also have community classes they can take advantage of as well," said community gardens coordinator Chris DeLeon.

Officials hope the farm will not only help teach families about crops and produce but also elevate the community by providing more needed space.

"It'll provide more areas to take a walk to walk your pets or take a walk with the family. Being in nature has shown that it makes you reduce stress levels and just gets you out of all the things you have to do in life so it really is a therapeutic process," DeLeon said.

If you want to help see the garden grow, officials are having a volunteer day this Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. near California and Fruit.
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