From eyesore to garden spot

Glendale’s community garden on Monterey Road has been such a hit, the 70-person waiting list grows by the day, organizers reported this week.

That interest prompted city leaders on Tuesday to call for another garden locale following a presentation on the program’s progress at City Hall.

“Let us know if there’s room for [another] garden,” Councilman Ara Najarian said.

The garden, split into two plots just north of the Ventura (134) Freeway, got its start in 2008 when the city leased the land at 870 Monterey Road to the Los Angeles Community Garden Council.

The first plot is now known as “Monterey East.” In 2010, the city leased a second plot at 827 Monterey Road, known as “Monterey West,” to the garden council. The separate plots are considered one garden project.

Although the land is leased to the garden council, it’s operated locally by Glendale residents. It also has a local steering committee under the banner of Monterey Road Eco-Community Gardens.

“The garden is truly a magical place,” said Alek Bartrosouf, chairman of the steering committee. “For many, it’s a retreat.”

There are a combined 38 planting beds in the two plots. Several have been divided in half so more gardeners can participate, according to a city report.

Mayor Laura Friedman said she’d like to see more community gardens south of the 134 Freeway, where the city’s urban landscape is much denser.

“That’s where we have the most dense housing,” Friedman said, adding that many who live in apartments in South Glendale may not have any green space.

Last month, the garden project won first place for the rehabilitation of an eyesore vacant lot in a national competition by the nonprofit Keep America Beautiful.

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