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.