All 40 plots at the Gardens at Bragaw have been rented to local gardeners, and two gardeners’ meetings have been held. Come visit the gardens soon, as we begin planting!
About the Gardens
In 2010, at the community’s request, the state of Alaska installed four large garden beds as part an important new highway overpass into Mountain View. These garden plots were built upon the former sites of high-density 8 and 10-plex housing, which had been torn down to make way for the Glenn Highway-Bragaw St. interchange project. People were excited to have a space to garden and build community. Unfortunately, budgets, politics, and a disagreement between the city and state conspired to keep the gardens space from opening. What was supposed to be an important new community asset deteriorated into a place of neglect and disuse, affirming many negative opinions about the Mountain View neighborhood.
In 2012, the Anchorage Community Land Trust (ACLT), a non-profit organization focusing on community revitalization in Mountain View, entered negotiations with the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) to open and operate the community garden located at the Bragaw/Glenn Highway Interchange. Through resolutions passed by the Mountain View, Russian Jack, Airport Heights, and Northeast Community Councils, the community asked that a Memorandum of Agreement exist between the city and ACLT, in order to have ACLT take on the administration of the gardens. These same community councils signed resolutions urging the state legislature to fund work at the gardens. Thanks to the state legislature’s generous funding, Governor Parnell, and a matching grant by the Rasmuson foundation, the Anchorage Community Land Trust was able to make improvements to the site and this year, to open the gardens.On June 1st, 2012, ACLT signed an agreement with the Municipality of Anchorage, making the gardens part of a story of transformation and revitalization in Anchorage’s lowest-income and most diverse neighborhood.
In 2012, ACLT conducted capital improvements at the garden, including fencing the beds, conducting soil testing and amendments, and putting up signage. Through the work of volunteers who constructed and installed a shed, and a local artist who painted signage, the gardens were transformed into a green space ready to be used by the community.
This year, community members have begun gardening at this site for the first time. Registration for garden plots was held on March 30, 2013 and April 6, 2013 at the Mountain View Library, and all 40 plots were rented out. ACLT is organizing community partners to offer education and resources, and volunteer–driven leadership will save funds for the Municipality and make for dynamic new opportunities as the interest in gardening and food security increases. Partnerships have been formed to insure that learning initiatives for local students as well as rural Alaskans will be a part of the garden programming.
For questions and information, please contact:
Radhika Krishna – Community Development Associate