That’s the tagline for a new community website, www.PBdigs.org, which extols the virtues of, and plans for, expanding community gardening on Pacific Beach Drive and throughout the beach area.
“PBdigs is a grassroots group working to create a new urban garden along the 45-foot-wide median along Pacific Beach Drive between Jewell and Kendall,” states the website. “Our motivations include growing organic food locally, connecting with neighbors and beautifying our neighborhood.”
PBdigs is in the early phases of lobbying the city for “support and approval for putting this vacant land to good use.”
“The next step is to get approval from the city for using that land for a community garden,” said PBdigs spokesman Andrew Martin, who added District 2 City Councilman Ed Harris and staff recently visited the median site.
“We’ll be working with them to try and address any safety issues that may exist and then to get a new water meter installed and continue the review process for getting the garden started,” Martin said.
The median at Pacific Beach Drive currently has a water main but no water meter.
“So getting a permit and funds for installing a water meter is another item on our list,” Martin said, adding the renewed push to enhance community gardening is “in alignment with PB eco-district’s goals.”
Pacific Beach planners and other civic leaders took part in 2013 in the initial phases of the creation of a local eco-district, which involved analysis of the community’s infrastructure by experts who offered advice on what residents can do to make the community more green and environmentally sustainable.
Community activist Paula Ferraco is in charge of the existing Pacific Beach Community Garden at Roosevelt Avenue and Shasta Street. She said there are lots of medians in Pacific Beach that need beautifying, like the entryway on Grand Avenue.
Ferraco pointed out the Pacific Beach Drive median is a prime candidate for a community garden because it is large and “largely abandoned and in need of being revitalized.”
There are as many as 15 prospective sites communitywide that could be candidates for transformations into gardens, Ferraco said.
She said those interested in the beautification effort can get involved by attending PBdigs meetings every other week.
“We’d like to partner with other organizations and get tax-free status, which would enable us to accept donations as well as actively seek grant money,” Ferraco said.
Martin said there is a waiting list of more than 30 people who’ve expressed interest in becoming more involved in community gardening.
“PB is a high-density area and a lot of people live in condos and don’t have access to gardens, which can bring neighbors closer together and be a gathering place for people, as well as a place to grow food locally,” Martin said.
Noting PBdigs thus far has a core group of about eight people, Martin said there are many more who’ve said they would be “willing to tend the Pacific Beach Drive garden when it’s created.”
Martin said preliminary plans for the Pacific Beach Drive median garden are to divide it up into 32 separate plots.