Derrick Gilliam inherited a 5,000 square foot lot in the Logan Heights from his grandparents. The land which sits along Imperial Avenue nestled in between 28th and 29th Streets has sat vacant for years. To help create a more walkable community, Gilliam is allowing BAME Community Development Corporation (BAME CDC) along with residents from the local neighborhood to create a park and community garden for the next five years on the lot.
The Gilliam Family Community Garden and Park will bring awareness to an overlooked area. The Greater Logan Heights community— which includes Logan Heights, Sherman Heights, Memorial, Grant Hill and Stockton — is a densely populated, low-income area in Central San Diego. Over 95% of the estimated 14,347 residents are Mexican-Americans and African Americans. The park is a collaboration between BAME CDC, a resident group called H.A.C.E.R. (Helping Achieve Community Empowerment and Revitalization) and Space4Art, the park’s architect. Volunteers from local high schools, individual residents and community organizations have been actively involved in the creation of the park.
“The Gilliam Family Community Garden and Park is a shining example of residents, local nonprofits and other stakeholders coming together to build a gathering and educational site for a community in need,” said Monte Jones, Chief Executive Officer of BAME CDC
The neighborhood lacks large grocery stores which could provide a wider selection of affordable healthy food options. The park’s garden with fruits and vegetables will bring relief to the area, known as a food desert, and teach families how to have their own gardens. The amphitheater will host movie nights and obstacle courses and playing grounds will be gathering and recreational areas for the diverse community.
Sponsors of The Gilliam Family Community Garden and Park include the County of San Diego and San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox; the City of San Diego and Councilmember David Alvarez; the San Diego Foundation; the Local Initiatives Support Corporation; SDG&E, and the Voice of San Diego. Hundreds of community volunteers are still needed to build the park during the month of October 2015.
To learn more, visit: http://bamecdc.org/.