On Saturday April 7th our community garden, Huerta del Valle (HDV) celebrated 5 years of community health and effort to build a local, organic food system in Ontario. People came together to rejoice and celebrate their success and to wish them many more successes in the years to come. The event provided resources for over 900 attendees, such as information booths, workshops from local organizations, and an open farm market. Some of their members participated and demonstrated their own traditions by doing arts, sharing traditional foods, songs and dances. Performances included Radio Santa Ana, Baile Folclorico and traditional dances from different areas of Mexico.
The American Planning Association (APA) honored Huerta del Valle Community Garden with the 2017 National Planning Achievement Award for a Grassroots Initiative.
In a cooperative effort between the community and several local agencies, the Huerta del Valle Community Garden in Ontario, California, was developed to provide residents with access to fresh organic produce. The small, predominantly Hispanic neighborhood had limited access to healthy food sources and few residents participated in local government until the community garden project was introduced.
Local residents were involved in the entire planning process-from selecting designs, presenting the project to the city’s planning department, and clearing and plotting the land to maintaining the garden. The garden opened in April 2013 and features 68 family plots and 2.5 acres of agricultural land that produces 6,000 pounds of food annually.
In 2015, Huerta del Valle Community Garden became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, proving that empowered residents can make a long-term impact within their community. The garden is a model that many other communities can readily adapt.
APA’s national awards program is a proud tradition established more than 50 years ago to recognize outstanding community plans, planning programs, and initiatives, public education efforts, and individuals on their leadership on planning issues. These efforts help create communities of lasting value throughout the country– and around the world.
Each year, APA recognizes outstanding efforts in planning and planning leadership through its National Planning Excellence and Achievement Awards. The two-tier awards are selected through a juried process. Excellence recipients are the highest honor, and Achievement Awards recognize areas of specialization within the planning profession.
Five recipients were selected to receive APA’s National Planning Excellence Awards and 12 recipients were selected to receive Achievement Awards. Award recipients were recognized during APA’s National Planning Conference at a special awards luncheon on Monday, May 8, 2017 in New York City.
Read more about the 2017 award recipients and access images and supplemental materials.
On August 2, the City will be participating in America’s Night Out Against Crime, the 30th annual public safety event invites residents to gather with first responders and other public service providers to promote crime prevention, public safety and neighborhood unity. Last year, our City was ranked among the top five cities in the nation for strong participation from more than 200 neighborhoods, including Neighborhood Watch groups, single family residential neighborhoods, apartments, condominiums, and other groups. This year, let’s try to rank Ontario as #1 for activities and participation.
On this day, Bon View Park and the Dorothy A. Quesada Community Center will host Party in the Park! from 5 PM to 8 PM. Come by and visit our Healthy Ontario booth and enjoy an evening filled with fun, food, and entertainment! Or you can team up with your neighbors and/or group to host your very own block party.
Summer is here, and its long days mean lots of time for running and playing. All of that activity is sure to result in hungry kids! This summer, we invite you to take advantage of the Ontario Summer Meal Program, offered at the Ovitt Family Community Library and community centers throughout the City. The Library kicked off its program on June 1st, with help from Healthy Ontario, the Ontario Fire Department, Friends of the Ontario City Library, the Solid Waste department, and the ReThink Your Drink Team from the San Bernardino County of Public Health. Over 400 people received information about fire safety, health and city services, and got to try a tasty fruit water recipe. Participants were then invited into the library, where 226 children, ages 1 to 18, received a free, nutritious lunch.
If you’ve been interested in checking out the library or local community centers, now is the time! Whether you’d like to discover a new book or be active at the park, the Summer Meal program is here to help fuel your busy kids. This free program will run until July 31st and will serve any child or teen aged 18 and under at the following locations:
Ovitt Family Community Library, 12:00 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Veteran’s Memorial Community Center, 12:30 to 1:00 p.m.
Dorothy Quesada Community Center, 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. (begins June 8th)
De Anza Community Center, 12:15 to 2:15 p.m. (beings June 8th)
Munoz Community Center, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. (begins June 8th)
Westwind Community Center, 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. (begins June 8th)