SQACC/Jose Maria Balderas’ Garden which currently has 496 sq. ft. in the form of raised beds to grow various pesticide-free vegetables and fruits.
A flower garden was developed to add color and plant diversity.
The area itself also has enough open space to host community events such as outdoor weddings and parties. This site is located on Broadway between Crittenden Street and Western Avenue.
SQACC was selected as the first organization to have a rain garden. This allows rain to be redirected and repurposed into the soil to grow various plants and flowers rather the rain flowing into the sewer system. This site is located in the SQACC/Jose Maria Balderas Garden.
In 2010 a large bee pen structure was built in the Jose Balderas Garden. This structure is used to house the bee hives and act as a winter wind break. The bees pollinate the vegetable plants and flowers as well as collecting nectar to produce rich tasting local honey. Since 2011, the bees have produced well over 800 pounds of honey, which SQACC sells as “Honey from the Hood”.
In 2014, SQACC received ownership of the former Jones Jr. High School property, including the Golden Rule Park. In 2015, the community received a grant to build a children’s playground on Golden Rule Park with community involvement. This park is used daily by the neighborhood children.
A 51 raised bed garden (4,080 sq. ft.) was built, again with business support and community involvement. This garden is called the BUGG (Broadway Urban Garden Greenspace). For the past three years, over 2,500 pounds of various pesticide-free produce have been provided to a local food bank. Throughout the summer, local residents can also be seen harvesting hundreds of pounds of tomatoes, peppers, squash, okra and other vegetables.
A new addition was developed on the site, a small prairie grounds to attract nature’s small creatures. Bird and bug houses were built and placed along with several small raised beds to grow native wildflowers in the hopes that they will flourish and multiply.
Currently in process is the development of a separate “Native Grounds” area to grow Ohio native plants. 35 raised beds have been built, placed and fill with compost mulch. In several years residents will be able to see several hundred native plants and wildflowers.
These sites are located along Broadway between Crittenden and Walbridge.
In 2015 purchased 2 vacant properties from the Land Bank to develop a Strawberry Garden. Each year nearly 25 pounds of pesticide-free strawberries are harvested for use in Nana’s Kitchen throughout the year. Throughout the summer, local residents, especially children can be seen picking fresh or eating strawberries. This site is located in the BUGG, between Crittenden and Walbridge.
The owner of a small piece of property allowed SQACC to develop the Western Fruit Orchard. Eight fruit bearing trees such as apples, pears and peaches provide fruit for the public to pick. This site located on Western Avenue near Broadway.
In 2009, SQACC again took another abandon property to develop the “SQACC Habitat Garden”. This is a nature haven with several different types of native trees, shrubs and plants to attract and provide shelter for the “3 B’s, birds, bees and butterflies. Most recently, 6 beds were added, strictly to grow milkweed plants to provide a home site and food for the endangered Monarch Butterfly. In the summer of 2018, eight Monarch caterpillars were seen eating the milkweed leaves for nourishment in their process in becoming Monarch butterflies. This site is located near the corner of Crittenden and Broadway.
In 2016, SQACC received permission to use to 2 vacant properties across from the BUGG on the corner of Walbridge and Cordova. This properties were developed into Pollinator Gardens with raised beds to grow wildflowers for the bees. Bird resting boxes filled with large tree limbs allow several hundred birds to rest. These Pollinator Gardens will be further develop in the future.