Grand Opening of the Community Garden Project

October 24, 2000

Hollywood – On Tuesday, October 24, 2000, at 10:00 am, community leaders, residents and officers from the Los Angeles Police Department Hollywood Community Police Station will gather to commemorate the opening of the Hollywood Community Garden Project. Overseeing the morning’s activities will be two of the people responsible for the project: Captain Michael Downing, Commanding Officer Hollywood Area, and Fares Wehbe of the Hollywood Little Red School House.

"Retailers, restaurants and other businesses are returning to Hollywood, but the community planted the seeds for the Hollywood renaissance," said Mr. Wehbe, a longtime resident and community leader in Hollywood. "The Community Garden Project symbolizes that Hollywood is growing once again, and it shows what can be accomplished when residents and businesspeople unite."

The garden site is located at the Southwest corner of Fountain Avenue at June Street. Prior to the opening of the garden, the lot was described by residents as an "eyesore", used as a dumpsite for garbage and old furniture. Now it will be a place for residents to gather and children to learn.

The long-term vision for the garden is to provide education, job training, recreation and mentoring for local at-risk children. Education programs developed by the Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse and the Hollywood Beautification Team will include food sustainability, nutrition, economic development and project management. Partnerships will be formed with local restaurateurs to develop the curriculum.

"This organic garden is being designed as a model program for future gardens and urban greening projects throughout Los Angeles," said Captain Downing. "We want residents to make an investment in the community, and as the program evolves, we want to help other communities to launch similar projects."

The general public and members of the media are invited to attend the ceremonial opening of the garden. For more information, contact Milton Gaines at the Hollywood Little Red Schoolhouse at 323-465-1320.

This Media Advisory was prepared by Officer Eduardo Funes, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3506.

For Release 5:10 pm PDT October 19, 2000