By Hannah Monroe, SA2020 Neighborhoods Liaison at SAHA
Post 9 | Series Archive
Last week the San Antonio Housing Authority celebrated the Grand Opening of a The Park at Sutton Oaks and the addition of a new community garden. Not only does this community garden provide community members with fresh produce, but it also symbolizes weeks of hard work and collaboration between the many initiatives currently located on San Antonio’s east side.
The Park at Sutton Oaks is located in the northern part of the EastPoint neighborhood and is the first official housing phase of the Choice Neighborhood initiative. It is San Antonio’s first multi-family community built to Build San Antonio Green Level II standards. The San Antonio Housing Authority and Franklin Development invited the community to the Grand Opening, including a ribbon cutting and community celebration, on May 31. After the ribbon cutting, the guests and residents planted vegetables in the community garden.
The community garden is the product of hard work put in by volunteers throughout April and May. The build allowed residents, community members, and organizations to volunteer their time and work together to support the Sutton Oaks community. One of the organizations that contributed to the build is The Mission Continues, an organization focused on supporting veterans through community volunteerism.
The four Saturdays spent working on this community garden turned a non-descript plot of dirt into a beautiful community garden. The garden will be maintained by and provide produce for the residents of The Park at Sutton Oaks.
The addition of a community garden in this neighborhood moves the needle on a couple SA2020 indicators for these residents. The garden provides healthy food to the neighborhood and can therefore impact diabetes and obesity rates as well as decreasing the health and behavioral risks of the residents. The garden adds a green space to the neighborhood that can also build connectivity among neighbors. Through this social connectedness, the garden can improve the perception of community public safety as people interact with their neighbors and work together in the garden. These contributions to the quality of life for the residents of the Park at Sutton Oaks are incredible.
What You Can Do
If you desire to build similar connections and have a positive impact in your neighborhood by providing fresh produce and building social connectedness, you can find and contribute to a community garden in your own neighborhood. Visit the Green Spaces Alliance website for resources and a map of community gardens throughout the city.
Contributing to our communities is something that we can all do. And that’s a cause for celebration!