JLBR Community Garden – Cultivating a Community
The mission of the Junior League of Boca Raton Community Garden (BRCG) is to cultivate the spirit of community and enhance quality of life by creating and sustaining an organic garden of vegetables, flowers, plants, and trees. The garden fosters environmental sustainability and stewardship, advances horticultural and nutritional education, provides a beautiful and natural retreat, and produces a healthy supplemental food source for its gardeners and the hungry. The Junior League of Boca Raton founded the BRCG and is responsible for managing and maintaining the garden. The City of Boca Raton provides the land and water for the garden.
Join us for a free virtual class! September 30th, 2020
The BRCG and The City of Boca Raton is excited to host a virtual class on growing and eating a climate diet. Our diet is one of the main ways in which we interact with the environment, and small changes in our diet can have a big effect on our personal climate impact. This class will provide information on the climate impact of our food choices, the climate benefits of growing your own food, and how to reduce food waste and compost. Join us for this class on September 30th at 6:30 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there! Register here.
JLBR Community Garden Update
The City of Boca Raton has approved the Brightline Train Station. As you may know, the approved station location will be where our community garden was formerly located. We would like to thank the City of Boca Raton for their partnership that helped the Junior League of Boca Raton make the community garden a reality.
When we entered into our agreement to start a community garden over a decade ago, the City made it clear that our current location could become a train station in the future. We are incredibly grateful to the City of Boca Raton, the Mayor, City Council and City staff for providing an outstanding alternative location for the garden. At this time, we are working with the City to construct our new location at Meadows Park.
Thank you to all our garden community members for your enthusiasm and willingness to build upon our success in a new location. We have a great wish list of items for the new garden. We are excited to move to ourof a new, larger, more accessible garden in partnership with Brightline to make it happen. They have committed to work with us and fund the new garden. We are determining the timing and will share as the details are finalized.
We welcome your feedback on the recently announced changes to the Boca Raton Community Garden. To share your thoughts, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you again for all your support.
President, Junior League of Boca Raton
The first space 0f the BRCG was donated by the City of Boca Raton in 2010 for use as a community garden as proposed by Mayor Susan Whelchel. Mayor Whelchel entrusted the Junior League with planning and launching the garden. Architect Wayne Tonning donated the landscape planning for the garden and Sunflower Landscaping, Whole Foods of Boca Raton and Zimmerman tree service also donated significant time and financial resources to help the community garden become a reality. BRCG broke ground on Earth Day 2010. After that, the Junior League of Boca Raton has managed and supported the garden, housed a total of 97 plots that are leased to Boca Raton residents on a yearly basis. 10% of all fruits and vegetables harvested by individual garden plots were donated to Boca Helping Hands.
Historically, BRCG has been the largest community garden in the state of Florida, and we look forward to continuing that once the new space is open. The original Garden boasted a beautiful pergola sponsored by Whole Foods Market Boca Raton, a Wildflower Walk, and a Permaculture Garden. Additionally, as a homage to Boca Raton’s history of pineapple cultivation, two pineapple patches with 50 donated plants and fruit trees were planted in 2013. Two rows of carambola (starfruit) trees flank the pineapple patches and both contribute fresh and delicious fruits.
The wildflower garden was made possible through The La Florida, “Land of Flowers,” Community Planting Grant which allowed Master Gardener Betsy Pickup and butterfly gardener Elisabeth Hoffman to plant and promote native Florida wildflowers in the garden. The Wildflower walk was planted in Fall 2015 and blossomed into a buzz of pollinator activity and beautiful wildflowers that enhance the park-like atmosphere in the garden.
In 2015 under the guidance of gardener Lynn Russell, who is certified in permaculture, a permaculture garden was established with the assistance of the Junior League of Boca Raton and other community volunteers. The permaculture garden incorporated the four core principals of permaculture, which are Care for the Earth, Fair Share, Care for People, Produce No Waste. Through education and by providing a positive and direct experience of organic gardening in action, our goal and mission at the BRCG are to promote and support environmental sustainability and the permaculture way of life. The permaculture garden yielded many pounds of highly nutritious organic fruits and vegetables of which 100% was donated to Boca Helping Hands. We look forward to continuing these traditions at our new home of Meadows Parks.