ENCINITAS — The city’s community garden organizing committee is actively seeking a 1- to 2-acre parcel of land to begin building a shared gardening experience for residents.
City Council voted April 15 to support the concept of a community garden organized by volunteers. However, there was disagreement over using city-owned land along Quail Gardens Drive as a potential site for the garden.
Councilwoman Teresa Barth, who praised proponents for their work on studying the logistics of a community garden, supports the Quail Gardens Drive site.
“As far as the best and highest use of land, the health and happiness of our community should be considered, not just the dollars that the land could possibly bring,” Barth said.
At least three councilmen disagreed that the site was appropriate for a community garden.
Councilman James Bond said the Quail Gardens Drive site was worth at least $5 million to $7 million in the current market. “There’s nothing wrong with sitting on it,” he said. Deputy Mayor Dan Dalager and Councilman Jerome Stocks also favored an alternate site.
Bond said he preferred the Indian Head Canyon site because it is rural and cannot be sold. It was donated to the city by the Ecke family to be used as parkland.
Task force members said the parcel is unsuitable for a community garden because it is designated as a habitat for wildlife. It is also not easily accessible and has sloping topographical features.
Sanford Shapiro, a representative of the task force and a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, said interest in participating in the garden project is growing so quickly that a plot of land is crucial to maintain momentum.
More than 1 million community gardens exist nationwide.