Guam Green Growth raises ground on third community garden
The Dededo Sports Complex is the site of the Guam Green Growth (G3) and Guahan Sustainable Culture’s (GSC) third community garden. The ground raising was held on November 1st with members of the community, dignitaries, and volunteers out to celebrate the occasion.
“Our organization is four-years old and to have this ground raising for our third garden shows how much support we have from the community, which is really encouraging,” said Michelle Crisostomo, co-founder and president of GSC.
The University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability (CIS) and Sea Grant was there in force to support and showcase the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of Zero Hunger, Good Health & Well-being, Sustainable Cities & Communities.
UOG CIS and Sea Grant Director Austin Shelton commented on the meaning of the occasion, “Having the third community garden means we are making progress toward our sustainable future. The more gardens we have the more opportunities for education and examples of food security for the island to get people involved and taking action toward reducing our reliance on imported food. These gardens benefit all of us.”
Marlon Oberiano, co-founder of GSC, was inspired to give the garden a circular design after visiting the botanical gardens in Chicago. “The concentric circle design allows for expansion with the spaces between the beds wide enough for wheelbarrows and wheelchairs to pass.” She explained that a key feature of this garden is the use of repurposed materials such as concrete blocks obtained from Pacific Soils & Engineering from their PSI testing on concrete for airport tarmacs and roads. “We use the blocks to define the garden beds. The raised beds were made by our partners at Farm to Table and give access for all people to get their hands in the soil.” said Oberiano.
Guam Clearinghouse director Stephanie Flores, summarized the event perfectly, “When we consider the community first it guides us through everything we do and all that comes from that can only be good. The pandemic has taught us if the ships stop coming, we’re in big trouble. Taking care of ourselves, taking care of the land, and taking care of each other leads to a more prosperous society.”