|Senior Community Garden opening in The Jurupa Mountains Cultural Center is located at 7621 Granite Hill Drive in the Glen Avon section of Riverside. Information: (909) 685-5818. |
Community garden to open 12:12 AM PST on Friday, February 20, 2004
By NITA HILTNER / The Press Enterprise
Spring will be busting out all over at the Jurupa Mountains Cultural Center when April brings the long-awaited senior community garden opening, and the addition of ornamental grasses, herbs and drought resistant perennials to the center's plant nursery.
"With the construction on the West Museum, we just never got the community garden built," said Buck Hemenway, projects director for the center.
Stater Bros. and Albertsons supermarkets have donated money through the Food For All grant program for the project, which will allow various senior facility members to be involved in growing their own food.
Hemenway said the idea is to give entry keys to the gardens to senior center van drivers, so gardeners can work during hours the cultural center is closed.
"The gardeners need to be here seven days a week for watering, especially in the summer," Hemenway said.
The 10,000-square-foot space will be divided into four 40-by-10-foot raised bed gardens, four 20-by-10-foot gardens and a couple of odd-shaped spaces. Cement block to build a retaining wall and the raised beds was donated by Orco Block.
The beds will only be raised eight to 10 inches, primarily for drainage. A garden for people with physical disabilities will be installed in the planned demonstration garden, the construction of which will begin this year. "There's no better exercise than gardening," Hemenway said.
The center's nursery will be expanded 400 feet to allow for herbs, perennials and ornamental grasses to be added for sale to the public. Currently, cacti and succulents are for sale.
"I've been looking for ways to expand to fit in with what we're doing," said Hemenway, who added that the addition of Dennis Adams to the nursery staff has also made it possible to expand. Adams has spent more than 20 years in the nursery business, most recently at Parkview Nursery in Canyon Crest.
Hemenway said the nursery carries the broadest variety of cacti in Southern California and that collectors of cacti will travel miles to add to their collection because most nurseries don't carry a large variety of cacti. Hemenway's own Prickly Palace nursery and other growers help supply the cultural center's nursery with its large variety.
The Jurupa Mountains Cultural Center is located at 7621 Granite Hill Drive in the Glen Avon section of Riverside. Information: (909) 685-5818.