Coming soon to Santa Clara will be a new neighborhood park and community garden. Pushing their shovels into the ground, Santa Clara’s dignitaries and community members set the building project in motion at the Sept. 21 groundbreaking ceremony for the San Tomas & Monroe Neighborhood Park and Community Garden.
“The San Tomas & Monroe Neighborhood Park and Community Garden is a clear representation of delivering on the promise for a better quality of life by designing and constructing a neighborhood park within a short walk of every resident,” said Lisa Gillmor, Mayor of Santa Clara, who attended the groundbreaking with City Council Members. “This park will be a place where the community can come together and enjoy the outdoors while enjoying each other’s company. It’s particularly exciting to have the first City owned and operated one-half acre Community Garden to offer our residents. It’s been a long time coming and I have no doubt it will quickly become a favorite place to visit when it opens next year.”
Also present at the ground-breaking ceremony were members of the Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Commission and James Teixeira, Director of Santa Clara’s Parks and Recreation Department.
“What we’re hoping is by the summer of next year the park will be open and functioning and people will be enjoying it,” Teixeira said. “The grading (preparation) of the site will start this October. The size of the San Tomas & Monroe Neighborhood Park parcel is about two-and-a-half acres.”
According to the City of Santa Clara’s press release for the groundbreaking event, the park project will include a number of amenities, including but not limited to a playground, a grass lawn, barbeque and picnic areas, an off-leash dog area, a community garden, an outdoor classroom and a pollinator garden.
“The goals of the outdoor classroom and community garden are to educate the community about the natural world and their place in it, from nature, plant and animal habitats, to food sources and the links of farm and environment to kitchen table,” Teixeira said. “Community gardening is a recreational program in and of itself. This garden is for people who like or want to learn about gardening but don’t have the space to garden. For example, the neighborhood to the northeast of this location is high density apartments and the community garden will give those living nearby a space and chance to learn the art and science of gardening. They’ll learn about the microbes and nutrients in the soil. They’ll grow their food organically, and cook and eat or share it. They’ll also learn about sustainability, how to live in a changing climate and world, how to keep our environment as clean and green as it can be. Classes offered here will include composting and seed germination. We’ll also have bee hives and a diversity of flowering plants to learn about pollinators and to increase the yield of the fruiting plants.”
Teixeira explained that in Sept. 2013, the City Council adopted a strategic goal to enhance community sports and recreational assets. In 2014, the City Council adopted a parkland dedication ordinance.
“The park impact fees that come in from new residential developments help to fund new neighborhood parkland acquisition and development…such as the San Tomas & Monroe Neighborhood Park and Community Garden,” Teixeira said. “Additional funding for the Community Garden portion and open space areas will come from a Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority Grant.”
Visit www.santaclaraca.gov/government/departments/parks-recreation/park-projects to view the project timeline and final schematic design of the San Tomas & Monroe Neighborhood Park and Community Garden.