Junior League of Boca Raton, Brightline, and the City of Boca Raton Break Ground on New Garden Space
The shovels are in at the NEW Boca Raton Community Garden! City Council members and representatives from Brightline and the Junior League of Boca Raton, broke ground this morning on the new The Junior League of Boca Raton Community Garden located at Meadows Park (1300 NW 8th Street.) As a part of the agreement to build the Brightline station on a 1.8 acre site near the City’s Downtown Library, Brightline made a major contribution to help fund the construction of a new garden.
The garden is approximately 1.4 acres and will contain about 100 plots that are soon to be available for patrons to lease. If you are interested in leasing a plot once garden construction is finalized, please email email@example.com
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.
The first space of 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, and 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.