By Aurora Saldivar
Mecca, Calif. – About a dozen children from St. Anthony’s Trailer Park laid the first stones for their long awaited community garden at their first Community Build Day earlier this week.
Their Community Build Day kicked off the collaborative project of Kounkuey Design Initiative and Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation, the park’s new owner. The community garden will be the first of many improvements to be made at the trailer park.
“Kounkuey Design Initiative is a non-profit design firm that collaborates with low-income communities to design and construct what we call productive public spaces,” said Jessica Bremner, program director at KDI. “The community garden and the larger productive public space project will allow community members to take advantage of what is now underutilized open space.”
Design meetings with residents began in early 2011.
“During those meetings, residents identified three major needs: improved access to affordable food, a central gathering space to facilitate community organization and education, and a safe recreation area for youth,” said Bremner.
With the help of KDI and the new ownership, St. Anthony’s Trailer Park is looking to improve living conditions for residents. This new garden will serve to supply healthy food options to residents while engaging the youth into becoming active community members.
In addition to the garden, other projects are in the works to create a strong community base in the center of this trailer park. Included in the list of improvements are a playground, a shade structure, and barbecue area.
Local residents and volunteers will undertake this project over the next few months during a series of Sunday community build days.
“If all goes according to schedule, we are hoping to have the garden completed in the next two weeks and the overall project completed by the end of June,” says Bremner.
Coachella Unincorporated will follow the progress of St. Anthony’s residents as they enthusiastically work to bring this project to fruition.
The California Endowment and Eastern Coachella Valley Building Healthy Communities provided funding for this project. Community members interested in learning more about this project and/or volunteering are asked to visit www.kounkuey.org.