The Finn Community Garden came into being as a Prop K project in 2003. Proposition K (the LA for Kids Program) was created to combat the inadequacies and decay of the City’s youth infrastructure, which has resulted in serious unmet needs for park, recreation, childcare and community facilities. The community garden is located within the boundaries of the Howard Finn Park, located at 7747 Foothill Blvd in Tujunga. As of 2016, the garden had been closed to the public and sat in decay, full of weeds and unused. See the first picture below of how the garden looked in February 2016 and then subsequent improvements.
A group of community members interested in reopening the garden got together and worked with the City of LA and with the LA Community Garden Council to do a big cleanup and mural, restructure the garden under the guidance of LACGC, and reopen the garden to the public as a functioning community garden in the fall of 2016. In early 2017, the garden partnered with Theodore Payne nursery to plant edible native plants around the perimeter of the garden. The community garden also reached out to Fallen Fruit, a contemporary art collective that makes art installations, public art and plants fruit trees in public space for everyone to share. Fallen Fruit invites people to experience the City of LA as a fruitful place, to collectively re-imagine the function of public participation and urban space, and to explore the meaning of community through creating and sharing new and abundant resources: fruit trees! Fallen Fruit donated a dozen different fruit trees to the orchard portion of the community garden, and as they begin to reach fruiting maturity, we are looking to find ways to invite the general public to participate in this community resource, through scheduled fruit swaps, classes, and more. The garden also organized Earth Day events for the community in April of 2017 and 2018.
From 2017-2018, the garden also received a grant and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps helped rebuild all of the rotting wood beds in the garden, added a shed, a picnic table, and a shade structure in this hot, sunny garden. The community garden has about 30 (?) beds, many of which are filled now by a diverse group of community members, of various ages, socioeconomic levels, and ethnicities. It is a beautiful, warm, growing space that brings all kinds of people together, and we would like to expand the programming of the space to host demonstrations, classes, and fun events to invite the community to participate in this unique resource our community has. We also still have (?) beds available for community members to lease at $5/month.