Introducing the Gateway Community Garden!
Salt Lake City celebrated the opening of our newest community garden yesterday!
This is the SEVENTH community garden created through the SLC’s Green City Growers program which began in 2013. The program converts City-owned land into vegetable gardens that are managed by the non-profit Wasatch Community Gardens. Community gardens create solutions for sustainable food production in an urban landscape.
Our newest garden is in the Gateway District which is quickly becoming the densest neighborhood in Utah. Demand for open space and “room to grow” is paramount.
On Tuesday, media representatives and residents joined Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, CEO of Rocky Mountain Power Cindy Crane, Director of Parks & Public Lands Kristin Riker, and the Wasatch Community Gardens Executive Director Ashley Patterson, for the celebration.
We’d like to thank the many people and organizations who made this vision become a reality!
A Unique Location
Salt Lake’s community gardens are shared plots of land where people gather together to grow fresh veggies and flowers. They are community spaces that give residents a chance to connect with their neighbors while enjoying the outdoors.
The Gateway Community Garden project came together after more than a year of hard work and planning, and through collaboration between multiple Salt Lake City departments, Rocky Mountain Power, and Wasatch Community Gardens.
It’s located in the Gateway District at 46 North and 500 West, just west of the Gateway Mall.
The site has raised garden beds that offer comfortable gardening for people of all ages. These are also important because the garden is on a former brownfield site— meaning the soil was contaminated with environmental toxins and later remediated. Converting a former brownfield to a parcel full of flourishing green plants is a powerful metaphor for this garden and the neighborhood itself which is becoming more and more residential.
In fact, continuous residential and commercial building is occurring in all directions. Trax, FrontRunner, and Union Pacific trains lumber by. The juxtaposition of open space and urban development is ever-present.
Supporting a Robust Local Food System
Community gardens bring many benefits to Salt Lake City. Here are just a few:
- Gardens increase public access to fresh nutritious food
- They provide viable plots for community members who don’t otherwise have access to gardening space
- They offer safe spaces for recreation and healthy physical activity.
- Gardeners take ownership of the space— caring for their own garden plots, maintaining the common areas in the garden, and participating in garden decisions.
- More access to locally grown food helps reduce our community carbon footprint by decreasing trips to the grocery store.
- Neighborhood gardens also reduce the need for as much imported produce. Thus, building a local, resilient food system is a key part of our Climate Positive SLC goals.
- Preserving these open spaces and making them available for producing food is critical as our city continues to grow.
We hope you’ll make a visit to see the Gateway Garden or any of our other six community gardens. They are all on public City property, so are open to visitors during the day.
If you want to get further involved, sign up to join an existing garden or help start a new one! We have several plots available that are waiting for community volunteers to get them started. Visit the Green City Growers page for more information.