project leader
Avital A
2835 Imperial Avenue.
(Greater Logan Heights)
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the project

H.A.C.E.R (Helping Achieve Community Empowerment & Revitalization) at the Gilliam Family Community Garden & Park is a community-led movement to transform a neglected plot of land into vibrant community gathering place.  

The Gilliam Family plot on Imperial Avenue has been an eyesore in the Greater Logan Heights community for years. Imperial Avenue is the historic commercial corridor of this neighborhood. It has always been a natural meeting point for a diverse group of residents, business owners, patrons, employees and other community stakeholders. Yet the scarcity of public parks, as well as lack of investments in infrastructure has resulted in few opportunities for meaningful public interaction in the neighborhood. Furthermore, residents often lack adequate access to healthy and affordable food options.

To address some of these issues, BAME CDC joined with Space 4 Art to bring together community residents, students, and artists to form H.A.C.E.R with the purpose of transforming a vacant lot into a gathering space for all community members to access. 

the steps

The H.A.C.E.R steering committee is a collaborative of community residents and stakeholders, youth from neighborhood schools, and professional artists, architects, and designers from Space 4 Art. The group came together in the Fall of 2014 and spent several months collecting widespread community input about what should be created at the vacant site. Local students have also been active participants throughout the project, helping to conduct outreach and engaging in hands-on STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). With the help of architect Bob Leathers, the committee translated the collective vision for a park, event space, and community garden into architectural designs, 3D models, and a construction plan. Throughout this process, community volunteers have been regularly cleaning and weeding the lot and building various components of the park (such as a fence and shade structures) out of pallets and reclaimed bicycle wheels. All of this preparation is leading up to the full-scale construction and landscaping phase, which will take place over the course of six days, September 22-27, 2015 and rely on the labor of hundreds of volunteers. 

why we're doing it

Greater Logan Heights is highly urbanized and dense neighborhood that is underserved by the City of San Diego when it comes to basic infrastructure and green spaces such as parks. Among the approximately 27,000 residents, 85% are primarily Spanish-speaking and there is a high density of youth and poverty. According to the City’s General Plan standards, this community has a deficit of 157 acres of public park space. Among the plan's key policy recommendations are redevelopment of vacant sites, blighted properties, and properties in disrepair for a diversity of uses.

The H.A.C.E.R project will address the above challenges by 1) reducing the number of trashed and blighted spaces; 2) increasing the number of attractive and safe green spaces for the use of all residents, with particular reference to children’s play needs; 3) encouraging the development of additional green spaces that can counter the ‘heat sink’ properties of a largely non-natural environment; 4) creating spaces that can serve as an incubator for the development of community and personal gardens, as the demonstration garden here will be used to teach residents these skills; 5) creating an event space that can be used by community groups; and 6) facilitating resident engagement that will create a renewed sense of ownership and pride in the area and drive ongoing improvements.


DISBURSEMENT BUDGET (as of 12/1/15):

RAISED = $4,260.00
ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
 Payment Processing Fee (3%) $123.06


UPDATED BUDGET as of 12.04.15

Construction Materials:                                                                      $2,404

Labor:                                                                                                  $2,169

            TOTAL                                                                                  $4,573



Construction Materials and Build-Week Coordination: $6000

Landscaping and Gardening Materials: $3000

Site Utilities and Maintenance: $3500

Tools: $2000

SUBTOTAL = $14,530
ioby Platform Fee $35
Payment Processing Fee of 3%  $436
TOTAL TO RAISE = $15,000

Thus far, H.A.C.E.R has raised about $40,000 through grants and collection jars in local businesses and at our monthly movie nights. This funding has allowed us to pay for some staff time as well as the first round of construction materials. The project is primarily being sustained by hundreds of hours of in-kind labor from volunteers and professionals, including artists and architects, and a lot of donated materials including old utility poles and bicycle wheels that we are turning into shade structures.

As we gear up for the big build week, we are launching this fundraising campaign to help us raise an additional $15,000 to cover the full cost of construction and landscaping materials, a wide variety of tools, site utilities, and on-going maintenance. Your contributions will help get all the materials we need to build and maintain an amphitheater, multi-story tree house, play area for younger children, seating areas, and a demonstration garden.

Help us reach our goal!!


Amazing build week and more to come!!

We just finished an amazing build week with hundreds of volunteers and we are almost done with the amphitheater and tree house!! There is still more work to be done and we will be working through October. Contact us if you want to volunteer!! The next volunteer days are Wednesday September 30 from 1-7 and Saturday October 3 from 9-3.

Thank you to everyone who has donated!! We are so grateful for your support! But we still have a ways to go so keep promoting the cause!!

We need TOOLS!!

If you have any of the following tools that we can borrow or know where we can get these donated, please let us know ASAP!! 

Bobcat (with bucket and forks)- with skilled operator

8 Brooms- push brooms and standard straw brooms

22 empty coffee cans or plastic gallon jugs (for holding nails and screws)

200 disposable ear plugs

10 electric gang boxes (#10 or #12 wire with ground, with 4 plug-ins on the end)

10 electrical splitters- 2 way and 3-way

20 electric extension cords, 25 foot: #12 or #14 wire.

2 24ft extension ladders

2 fire extinguishers

30 pairs of work gloves

20 hammers (carpentry): 16-, 20-, or 22-ounce

2 garden hoses: ¾ inch preferred

15 levels: 36 inch or longer

40 nail aprons

40 pencils (+ sharpener)- BUY

2 pick up trucks- on site at all times

5 post-hole diggers

20 rakes (metal)

500’ rope: ½ inch preferred (for tying down tarps)

3 routers: 3/8 inch corner round bits, one should have an edge guide

30 safety glasses

2 sanders, belt

3 orbital palm sanders a/ 50 grit pads

4 circular saws: hand held, heavy duty, 7 inch preferred

10 saw horses

10 scissors (for medium weight fabric)

20 shovels

20 sponges (kitchen type)

5 squares, speed: 6-inch to mark angles on boards

3 squares, framing: 2 ft legs, L shaped

6 step-ladders, 6 or 8 ft OSHA rated

3 step-ladders, 10 or 12 ft OSHA rated

6 tables, banquet

10 tape measures, 12 ft or longer

3 trash cans, 30 gallon






This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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