Local residents and city officials gathered recently to celebrate the opening of a new community garden and gathering place that was more than seven years in the making. The opening of the Canal Community Garden in San Rafael was met with an outpouring of support and embraced by the neighborhood with delight.
A new environment for growing relationships.
“It took a whole village to build this place”, said Phillip Vitale, project manager for Trust for Public Land, the conservation group largely responsible for the vision and the garden’s creation. “We’re providing a space to grow not only fruits and vegetables, but also to grow relationships.”
The new community garden, located on the corner of Bellam Boulevard and Windward Way in the Canal neighborhood, was the result of a community wide effort along with help from city and county officials and San Rafael’s Canal Alliance.
The new community garden is equipped with dozens of raised garden beds including specially designed and elevated beds for easy access to gardeners with disabilities. The sustainable garden also features a trellised outdoor classroom, greenhouse, vegetated rainwater treatment, composting and potting tables. Water saving drought-tolerant plants have been used extensively and a rainwater catchment system to irrigate the garden beds has been integrated to ensure water conservation.
Community contributions that made a difference.
The project was funded through the city of San Rafael, Marin County, and contributions from local foundations and private donors, including these resources:
- Planting Justice built the planters and growing beds for the garden
- Pacific Nurseries provided all of the trees, shrubs, ground covers and a feature fig tree serving as the garden centerpiece
- Marin Sanitary Service will provide garbage service for the garden at no cost
- Canal Alliance will oversee the operations of the garden with transfer to the community at a later date
Click on a photo below to take a tour of the Canal Community Garden.
Julie Baldocchi, Vice-President of Pacific Nurseries added:
“Our contribution to this garden is part of our ongoing effort to give back to the communities and landscape professionals we serve. As a long time Marin resident, I have fond memories of my father, and my family, doing work and volunteering to help make San Rafael a better place for everyone.
It’s a privilege to be part of the great team of volunteers, donors and contributors that have worked so hard to sow the seeds for this garden. The result is a testament to how we can teach respect, grow opportunity, and foster stronger connections with our environment. We look forward to watching the garden blossom in the neighborhood.”
Share your experience.
Please stop by and let us know if you’ve seen or visited the garden. We’d love to hear about your experience and what you think of it. To learn more about the Canal Community Garden in San Rafael, just visit canalalliance.org.