Published February 13th, 2013
From Parking Lot to Garden Plot
Submitted by Janet Thomas
Community Garden on Mt. Diablo Blvd. Photo Andy Scheck
Less than a year old, the Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center, located across from the Lafayette Reservoir entrance, has become an attractive, thriving space. From April to November 2012, 50 inaugural member families, along with Boy and Girl Scouts, a church group and other volunteers, enjoyed a sense of camaraderie as they built a greenhouse, shed and garden beds from a variety of recycled materials.
A number of different crops were grown and shared during the season. A series of educational workshops, open to the public, was successful in bringing information about gardening and natural history of the area to those who attended. The Earth Day Open House and Fall Harvest Festival were both fun community events.
A special aspect of the garden and learning center site is that it sits along the Lafayette Creek and is graced by a number of native riparian plants. These plants are highlighted in a natural riparian oak garden and along a short nature trail, which will be accessible during open hours beginning in March. Also, in 2013, garden members hope to grow enough food to be able to share excess with local agencies that serve the needy.
The garden is sustained on a day to day basis by a cooperative community of members who work under the direction of a garden manager and committee leaders. Beginning this March, the garden will expand its membership from 50 to 70 families. Membership application forms can be downloaded from the garden website at and are due at the address listed on the application by Feb. 28.
Upcoming Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center Activities
Community members are encouraged to visit the garden site and participate in community activities. During February, the garden is open each Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. and starting in March, will be open most days. The open hours are listed on the bulletin board outside of the garden entrance.
During the 2013 season, monthly workshops and intergenerational activities will be held at the garden's outdoor learning center including:
Feb. 9 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. - Building Healthy Soil
March 9 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. - Doing Your Own Plant Propagation
April 13 from 10 to 11:30 p.m. - Irrigation and New Norms for California Landscape
May 11 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. - Creating and Enjoying a Butterfly Garden
To register for these classes, visit: If you have any questions about the garden, you can call Janet at (925) 946-0563.

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