project leader
Judith J
960 Fifth Avenue
(West Chula Vista)
latest update rss
Thank you!

the project

Our proposal is to create a project inspired by the question: What if we also thought of gardens as meeting places where people from different walks of life could gather and learn from one another in creative ways? What if gardens:

  • brought community and university members together through shared learning projects?
  • were places that integrate urban agriculture and technology to promote food security, environmental stewardship, and digital literacy?
  • could be connected through social networks to help generate and share local urban agriculture innovations?
  • became long-term sources of community enrichment?

This is the vision of urban agriculture that the San Diego Community Garden Network has been working to make a reality in San Diego County for more than four years, and to which it is now adding the new Green STEAM Communities program.

Working with La Gracia y Paz Covenant Church and local partners, Green STEAM will design a permanent Living Laboratory and integrate it into the church garden by offering a class open to university and public school students, and to community members.  The class will augment gardening activities by incorporating our current web sharing, digital sensor, and Google-based mapping tools. When completed, the living laboratory will join two others in Linda Vista, one at the Bayside Community Center and another at Kearny High School.

We intend for the living laboratory at the La Gracia y Paz Community Garden to serve as a pilot for replicating the permanent integration of living laboratories in community-based gardens throughout San Diego.

the steps

November- December 2013: garden community will complete additional growing beds and irrigation for garden according to blueprint, existing Green Steam curriculum and schedule will be revised for this site, class participants will be recruited, Partners will work together through regular meetings to publicize and define roles and tasks for each organization. Computerl Laboratory for blogging and GIS mapping and data entry will be set up using already donated computers.

January  1-15, 2014:  build Living Laboratory at La Gracia y Paz Covenant Church in Chula Vista to include work benches, seating sink and water access.  Materials for garden sensors will be purchased.

January 29, 2014 through May 2, 2014: implement first university-community service learning class open to both community members and university students.

why we're doing it

As the planet warms up and food and clean water become more expensive, it is clear that new approaches to our urban lifestyle need to be developed, and Urban Agriculture is a key movement in developing these new approaches.  The San Diego Community Garden Network has partnered up with the La Gracia y Paz Covenant Church in Chula Vista in an effort to develop a unique university-community partnership to create a Living Laboratory as one such new approach to urban life.  

Our goals are lofty --to save the planet-- but we begin at a realistic starting point:  partner with an already existing community garden and augment it with learning opportunities created when university students and local community members get together to achieve local goals around gardening and nutrition.

We will spread the word about what we learn in this project, and will invite other community organizations to adopt and adapt our evolving strategy.  Our sincere hope is that our approach will contribute to the nascent urban agriculture movement in San Diego in the shape of a replicable, but also adaptable, model useful to others across the region.


Total of $4,500

  • Construction Materials $1,500 (lumber, sink, faucet, etc for Lab bench area and seating)
  • Digital Equipment for the outdoor lab $500
  • Instructor Salaries $2000.00
  • Additional needs for the computer lab- printer/software- $500.
Funding and in kind donations have already been identified to complete the garden and will be provided by community partners.  A recent donation of 6 computers will supply digital access for our students and the church will be supplying Wifi and indoor classroom space. We also firmly subscribe to reusing and recycling.

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $225
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $135

RAISED = $2,425

Updated budget:

Instructor salaries: $800.00

Construction materials/tools: $1000.00

Digital equipment: $400.00

Printer and miscellaneous equipment for computer lab: $225.00


Thank you!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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