Community Garden Blossoms

After two years of incubation, the Grow Beach! community garden will hold an unofficial opening at 1 p.m. Friday on the developing land on Atherton Street and Earl Warren Drive.

“This is the first semester we’re actually breaking ground and building the garden itself,” said Natalie Baugh, the publicity officer for Grow Beach! and a senior dietetics major.

During the soft opening, the land will be blessed by members of the Tongva tribe.

California State University, Long Beach is built upon land that was previously settled by the Tongva, and Baugh said the team feels that it is important to involve members of the tribe in the project.

“The land at CSULB is very valuable, not what you can build upon it, but what you can grow upon it,” Vincent Holguin, the visionary for the community garden, said.

Holguin was the Fall 2013 Associated Student Inc. vice presidential candidate, a sixth year engineering student and a member of the Tongva tribe.

He said he acknowledged the disagreement between the tribe and the university that happened in 1992, when plans for a strip mall replaced an undisputed idea for an organic garden on the sacred area called Puvungna, the 22 acres of reserved land by Beach Drive and Bellflower where the Tongva hold yearly ceremonies.

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