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CREA Program Kicks Off at Gardopia on San Antonio's Eastside

Updated: Mar 27

This morning, The Coalition for Regenerative Ecologies and Agriculture (CREA) Team had the pleasure of meeting Dominic Dominguez at Gardopia Gardens, located on the city's Eastside.

Gardopia's mission is "to grow healthy communities through garden-based learning"—a simple yet profound statement.

Many people don't associate urban community garden programs with the term "regenerative agriculture," but we do!

Gardopia has had a significant positive impact on the lives of nearby residents, including reducing crime, enhancing community interaction, creating increased opportunities, and fostering hope for a brighter future. Additionally, there has been a decrease in drug use in public spaces near the garden. And let's not forget, the garden has produced thousands of pounds of food over the years, contributing to a nutritionally healthier community. Gardopia is an incredible asset to San Antonio, as regenerating a healthy community tapestry through creating food abundance is the essence of regenerative agriculture... and so much more.

Dominic showed us around the various features at their headquarters, such as the chicken coop, bee hives, aquaponic system, woodshop, water catchment, and tool library.

He explained how Gardopia has a "gardens in schools" program, which is active in dozens of local schools.

He then took us to the Young Women's Leadership Academy Primary, where Gardopia, with the help of a USDA Grant and several community partners and volunteers, has created numerous features on the school campus. "All inclusive" is a recurring theme with them, and it is truly beautiful to see the fruits of their labor and the positive energy their approach brings.

They have built a chicken coop, rain garden, food forest, raised bed garden, indoor hydroponic garden, greenhouse, and a fairly large market garden on the campus.

It was clearly time for us to get our hands dirty, so we grabbed some wheelbarrows, shovels, seed trays, and started hauling compost, seeding squash, and planting.

It was a great experience and an awesome way to kick off our program!

The Coalition for Regenerative Ecologies and Agriculture (CREA) looks forward to working with our community partners in the future by providing fully funded fellows and seasonal internship opportunities. Check the CREA website for updates.

A big thank you to Dominic Dominguez, Stephen Lucke, Sherry Lim, and all the other wonderful people who make Gardopia's work possible!

Check out their latest collaboration with Alianza Raices Vivas to create Victory Gardens!

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