Popularity of community gardens in full bloom

Beacon Hill Community Garden unites neighborhood

SAN ANTONIO – On a Thursday morning, the corner of Beacon Hill and West Grammercy Place is a busy spot. 

"We have different kinds of lettuces, we have a lot of kale, we have a lot of Swiss chard,” said Cynthia Spielman.

Speilman and many from her neighborhood visit the Beacon Hill Community Garden every day.  Many of the residents have their own plot in the garden – a garden which they share with everyone in the area. 

"You know, when we first started this particular plot, it was seven, maybe eight years ago and my husband had just undergone intense treatment for cancer,” said Spielman.

The outlook was grim, but Spielman and her family put all of their energy into the community garden. 

"Suddenly, we went from being depressed to things being planted, things growing,” said Speilman, who credited the garden with his recovery.

Spielman’s husband is now healthy, and more families like the Spielmans are participating and benefiting from community gardens across San Antonio. No longer is the food grown for those who need it - the movement has been helped along by the Green Spaces Alliance. The group has helped create plant 40 gardens across the city. 

"Forty is huge for us, because it’s only been nine years,” said Angela Hartsell, with Green Spaces Alliance. "Lots of the gardens have native landscapes. They have butterfly plants. They have other pollinator plants.”

The Beacon Hill Community Garden has a small, outdoor library, a water catchment system, and a sink to wash off what is grown. 

For many it is a garden that has brought neighbors in this tight-knit neighborhood even closer.

"I think it’s about community,” said Speilman.



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