Rebuilding Together and DMB have provided new features and accessibility upgrades in the Surprise Community Garden, a Benevilla Community For All Ages project.
Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit, and local valley builder DMB join together once a year and select one Valley community project they would like to support. This year, representatives discovered Benevilla’s Surprise Community Garden and knew that they’d found their project.
The garden improvements started taking place in early April and include a ramp for handicapped access to the mural, irrigation along the perimeter, signage, a shade structure, and the construction of an amphitheater.
“Rebuilding together works to reinvigorate communities by providing home repair, modifications, and improvements to low-income seniors, veterans, and disabled individuals,” said Benevilla President and CEO Michelle Dionisio. “This is a perfect fit for at Benevilla. We strive to provide a better life experience for the community and help keep individuals in their homes as long as possible.”
The garden currently has 100 gardeners working on 34 raised-soil beds which are at a height friendly to young children and wheelchair-bound gardeners. The garden is organic; gardeners are not allowed to use chemicals and a composter is available to all.
The garden is also home to a tiled 30 foot mural designed by the artists at WHAM and created by residents of Surprise.
“We also partner with Rio Salado College and their sustainable foods program. They recently brought an instructor from their Tempe campus to lead a class about the soil and managing pests in an organic way,” Dionisio said. “Then they were able to do some cooking in the Birt’s Bistro kitchen using some of the items grown in the garden. This garden is truly a resource for our community, and we are so appreciative to have been selected for this support.”
The majority of the work is already finished, but some aspects, such as signage and the amphitheater, will be completed as the year progresses. A formal celebration is being planned for the fall.