Stephens Creek Crossing is an 122-unit affordable housing facility in Southwest Portland home to diverse, multi-generational, immigrant, and native born families. In May 2014, alongside residents (adults, teens, and children), Janus Youth’s Village Gardens, and Home Forward staff, we began designing and building a community garden, children’s garden, and garden and cooking education program. In 2015 we hired one of the residents to coordinate the programming on site.
There is currently a 6,000 square foot community garden space with 30 individual family plots, six disabled accessible raised beds, an outdoor classroom, greenhouse, a children’s garden, and numerous classes and events held in the garden and teaching kitchen.
Quotes from the gardeners:
“The garden has helped me in so many ways, my children are learning how to nurture and grow food that they will put in their bellies as well as the responsibility of growing a garden. I have spent more time with the people in my community learning from them and sharing with them. I have also bonded more with my husband. This has turned into something we both care about and can participate in. I would love to take the knowledge we learn here and implement it into a family garden when we buy a house.”
“You have no idea how amazing it is to see all the children in our community working together as a team, trying hard to finish the work. I am on top of my joy. My dream comes true. My kids are involved digging, planting, watering. They are in charge. They remind me the time to water the plants. I am amazed.”
“Having a plot at Stephens Creek Crossing’s garden, is a blessing, growing my own fruits and vegetables is a dream come true. This definitely is changing my life for a better health. Thank you so much for the big effort and work you are providing for us this beautiful garden to be.”