G3 Community Garden to provide education and inspiration for healthy and sustainable living

Partners of the Guam Green Growth initiative celebrated the ground-raising of the new Guam Green Growth Community Garden on Aug. 19 across from the Guam Museum in Hagåtña. Photos courtesy of the UOG Center for Island Sustainability
Partners of the Guam Green Growth initiative celebrated the ground-raising of the new Guam Green Growth Community Garden on Aug. 19 across from the Guam Museum in Hagåtña. Photos courtesy of the UOG Center for Island Sustainability

G3 Community Garden to provide education and inspiration for healthy and sustainable living

by Amanda Dedicatoria
Science Communicator, Guam NSF EPSCoR, University of Guam

A newly developed community garden across from the Guam Museum in Hagåtña will be a place where residents can learn, volunteer, and gain inspiration for sustainable living.  
 
The garden is a project of the island-wide Guam Green Growth (G3) initiative, a public-private partnership facilitated by the Center for Island Sustainability at the University of Guam and supported by the Office of the Governor that creates solutions to sustainability challenges and fosters the island’s alignment with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). 
 
The community garden addresses SDG #2: Zero Hunger, SDG #3: Good Health and Wellbeing, and SDG #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
 
“A lot of the conversations during the pandemic revolved around food security and the vulnerability in having to import over 90 percent of all the foods and goods we consume,” said Austin Shelton, co-chair of the Guam Green Growth Steering Committee and director of the UOG Center for Island Sustainability. “This is not just going to be a place to grow food, but it also will be a beacon of hope and a demonstration to all the other villages that they can do something similar.” 
 
The 1,400-square-foot garden was designed by nonprofit group Guåhan Sustainable Culture (GSC), and the raised garden beds were built by the G3 Conservation Corps, AmeriCorps GSC members, and Pacific Federal Management Inc.  
 
GSC will manage and continue to develop the garden with its AmeriCorps GSC team and will host garden volunteer days, where community organizations and groups will be invited to volunteer, and educational opportunities focused on food security and healthier lifestyles. GSC co-founder Michelle Crisostomo said that trellises will be installed for vining plants and that a section of the garden will be developed to educate children about agriculture and nutrition. 
 
Attendees of a ground-raising ceremony on Aug. 19 planted peppers, eggplant, basil, and passionfruit seedlings. A portion of what is harvested will be given to the homeless and impoverished individuals and families.  
 
“This community garden is a great demonstration of partnership,” said UOG President Thomas Krise. “The partnerships for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals are really central to the success of all of this.” 
 
Other partners and supporters in the project include the 36th Guam Legislature, Guam Waterworks Authority, and the Serve Guam Commission. 

“This community garden is a testament to the progress that Guam Green Growth has made to advance the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. “We hope that this garden will provide nutritious food to the people of our island.”


Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero expresses her support for the community garden as a source of food security for the island.


Austin Shelton, co-chair of the G3 Steering Committee and the director of the University of Guam Center for the Island Sustainability, speaks at the ground-raising of the Guam Green Growth Community Garden, saying that concerns regarding the island’s reliance on imported food and goods were a driving factor in the garden’s establishment.


Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio plants seedlings in one of the raised garden beds at the community garden as part of the ground-raising ceremony on Aug. 19.


An attendee of the ground-raising ceremony for the new community garden plants a seedling. Peppers, eggplant, basil, and passionfruit seedlings were planted at the event on Aug. 19.

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