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Get Your Hands Dirty for Greener Earth

CSI welcomes new volunteers for community garden service trip

Proyecto Jardin's new location at a repurposed Boyle Heights lot

Proyecto Jardin

Proyecto Jardin's new location at a repurposed Boyle Heights lot

Janice Peregrina, Staff Reporter

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C.S.I. has planned a volunteer service trip on April 22 to Proyecto Jardin, a community garden in Boyle Heights. The service trip ties into the Eagles Care series this semester, as well as the green theme for the month of April. With the planned trip landing on Earth Day, Proyecto Jardin is a perfectly fitting activity for those excited to do their part for the environment and the community.

C.S.I. has worked to facilitate events in monthly theme for the Eagles Care series, which has taken place once a month every semester for the past few years. Jasmine Salgado, a Service & Major Events Student Assistant at C.S.I., talked about how her peers and supervisors develop their ideas for upcoming events. “We get to decide which organizations we want to help, and we find those organizations on our own.” For the month of April, they “wanted to do something more eco-friendly” to honor Earth Day. C.S.I. found Proyecto Jardin through their research and decided that the community garden needed their help. “They recently got kicked out of their place,” Salgado explained, “which is really unfortunate, and then they got something stolen from them. So we’re gonna try to rebuild that up.”

Proyecto Jardin is an organization that has serviced its community since 1999. According to their website, the garden “cultivates and promotes community health and wellness, social cohesion, cultural self-determination, and grassroots people power through urban agriculture, traditional healing arts, artistic expression, and community organizing.” The garden is public and ran by volunteers, so the produce, gardening classes, and education promoted by the organization is welcome to all. Proyecto Jardin used to be a ⅓ acre farm, but with some trouble renewing their lease according to the terms asked from their previous landowners, Proyecto Jardin has been “forced to evacuate their land,” according to Salgado. “They have been at their new place, which is in Boyle Heights, for about four months now.”

C.S.I. just recently announced student signups on Monday, April 3 for volunteers interested to help the organization get back on their feet after these recent pitfalls. “This is a great way where Cal State LA can step in and help, and we’re going to be collecting seeds, shovels, kneepads, any gardening tools really,” said Salgado. For those unfamiliar with working outside in a garden, the trip promises new and exciting experiences. “What students can expect is to get their hands dirty and really dig into the dirt and plant new plants…things that you would expect from your own garden at your house.”

The service trip will take place on Saturday, April 22. Check in is at 8a.m. outside of the U-SU, where volunteers will receive an Eagles Care t-shirt and button for participating. Transportation to the garden and lunch will be provided by C.S.I., and the service trip is expected to finish at 1PM. C.S.I. will be taking about thirty volunteers total. For those unable to attend but still want to help, donations to the garden will be accepted at the C.S.I. front desk up until the day of the event.

Proyecto Jardin’s new location at a repurposed Boyle Heights lot, image courtesy to proyectojardin.org.

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