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Fresno Breaks Ground On City's Largest Community Garden

Laura Tsutsui
Valley Public Radio
Local and state leaders gathered to break ground on Fresno's newest community garden. Among them was Mayor Lee Brand (third from left) and Louise Bedsworth, Executive Director of the Strategic Growth Council (third from right).

Local leaders gathered in Southwest Fresno Tuesday for the groundbreaking of the city’s newest community garden and first project funded by the Transformative Climate Communities grant

The Yosemite Village Permaculture Urban Farm and Community Garden is right next to the Yosemite Village Apartments, but locals have a shorthand: Yo’Ville.

It's the city’s largest community garden, at 7.5 acres, and it’s open to anyone. There are walking paths, small plots that gardeners can rent and cultivate, and half-acre plots for farming. This Saturday volunteers will plant over 400 trees as part of a kick-off.

“This is what community revitalization is about,” said Preston Prince, CEO of the Fresno Housing Authority. “It’s not us doing something to a neighborhood, it’s the community members being actively engaged in the wealth creation in this community.”

According to Prince, the Housing Authority assists over a thousand families in this neighborhood. Councilman Miguel Arias, who represents Southwest Fresno, said the area has been ignored in the past, despite being home to some of the city’s most vulnerable families. 

“The city and the state simply had to listen to residents, and when we do, this is what results,” Arias added. 

Other remarks were made by Artie Padilla from Every Neighborhood Partnership, Louise Bedsworth of the Strategic Growth Council (which operates the Transformative Climate Communities program), Fresno Mayor Lee Brand, and Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula.

The farm and garden is a collaboration between the Authority, Fresno Metro Ministry, and the City of Fresno, which provided money from its Transformative Climate Communities grant.

Laura Tsutsui was a reporter and producer for Valley Public Radio. She joined the station in 2017 as a news intern, and later worked as a production assistant and weekend host. Laura covered local issues ranging from politics to housing, and produced the weekly news program Valley Edition. She left the station in November 2020.