The view from the edge of the Homeless Garden Project’s new property in Pogonip. Organizers plan to be able to start farming in the new location by 2020. (Marcello Hutchinson-Trujillo — Santa Cruz Sentinel)
The nonprofit garden training program, focused on helping up to 17 people at a time to transition out of homelessness, is aiming in the long term to nearly triple the garden’s trainee load in its move.
By Jessica A. York
Santa Cruz Sentinel
July 29, 2018
A vision for turning a slice of Santa Cruz’s rolling meadows and tree-studded green belt into a working farm is on the brink of becoming reality, some two decades after it was dreamed up.
The Homeless Garden Project’s plan to relocate from its leased 3.5-acre Natural Bridges Farm site to a long-term agreement with the city of Santa Cruz on 9 acres of Pogonip land has nearly earned all its needed permits and is projected to be operational by 2020, authorities said Friday. Ground breaking below the former Pogonip Clubhouse is expected to begin as early as the fall.
Based on private direct donations alone, project capital campaign leaders say they are nearly halfway to an unnamed fundraising goal and plan to go out with a public push for any remainder in the spring. Earlier project fundraising goals were set at $2.65 million to build the site’s infrastructure, including building and farming amenities, plus other establishment costs. The city has signed a 20-year lease with the organization, in addition to several 5-year renewal options.