‘We have the vision’: Nonprofits look to involve others in community garden | TheUnion.com

‘We have the vision’: Nonprofits look to involve others in community garden

A community garden aimed at racial inclusivity could soon be in the works for Hirschman’s Pond.

The Nevada City Council gave the green light Wednesday for local nonprofits Color Me Human, California Heritage Indigenous Research Project and Sierra Harvest to explore whether the site would be a suitable location.

According to Color Me Human Director Tracy Pepper, the goal is to provide fresh food access and educate the community in sustainable horticulture. If it moves forward, the city would create a memorandum of understanding with Color Me Human, whose volunteers would provide classes.

Officials planned to survey the area Friday, and determine whether a 0.31-acre home on the site will need to be demolished or renovated. If possible, the goal is to have a structure in the area for the organization to use that would create a presence on site that deters any nuisance issues.

Pepper said the organizations would be working closely with all stakeholders in the area as the project develops.

“It’s very, very important to us that those individuals that are in that community, in that neighborhood, have an opportunity to create this garden alongside with us,” Pepper said.

“We have the vision, but the vision from the very beginning included that the community itself would co-create this garden.“

While many details, including funding and the ultimate location, are still up in the air, the council signaled support for having the community garden somewhere in the city if Hirschman’s Pond does not work out.

“There is a spirit there. It’s a very, very special place and you can feel it when you’re there,” Pepper said. “To me that’s something that lends itself very well to bringing people together and nurturing the the soil and nurturing the people and nurturing the community.”

Decisions on the home demolition and site suitability could be made by next week.

“To have people from the Nisenan indigenous community tending the land that they their ancestors once lived on that was stolen from them is just poetic,” Council member Doug Fleming said. “It’s not enough, but at least it’s something and the symbolism is just beautiful.”

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

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