Mural painting and garden beautifies, unites San Bernardino community

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Photo Jorge Heredia: The community garden mural painting reads “Huerta,” which means “garden” in English.
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Huerta del Valle, an organization specializing in community gardening, urban farming and educational programming, developed one acre of unused land at 1455 E. 3rd Street in San Bernardino to develop a community garden space.

On September 5, a group of local artists began collaborating on a mural at the forthcoming garden which reads, “Huerta del Valle,” meaning “valley garden” in English.

The mural design and community garden include values close to the heart of the San Bernardino community, “Respect, Unity, Responsibility and Justice.”

The team of artists is made up of young local artists and community organizers including Ana Cervantes, Sarah Rain Devine, Alejandro Gutierrez Chavez, Alcira Mendoza, Edgar Perez Peña, Cynthia Morales, James Ojeda, and Jorge Osvaldo Heredia, director of the Garcia Center for the Arts.

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Photo Jorge Heredia: Not only is the garden beautifying the San Bernardino space, it’s strengthening urban farming skills in the community.

“What is special about this garden space is that there’s a real effort for it to be a community project. There’s a weekly meeting and everyone involved is committed to volunteer two hours per week.  Surprisingly, I’m reconnecting and seeing people from high school again, and it’s because of the garden and mural painting,” said Heredia.

He says that the mural and garden space is beneficial to the community amidst the pandemic and wildfires as it beautifies the space and unites the community as one.

“A project like this is very important to the community. Especially due to the wildfires in our region, a garden like this beautifies our space and develops skills of self-sustainability. Anyone is capable of growing food, but it’s all about learning the skills it requires… which is exactly what Huerta del Valle provides. It’s also good for our mental health and air quality,” continued Heredia.

On September 20, local artists held another paint day that coincided with a farmers market at the garden, where artists added a big box of color.

“Overall, this experience working alongside farmers, artists and community activists has been so motivating and a great learning experience. It’s my goal to bring a community garden to the Garcia Center for the Arts and I’m hoping in the new year we can begin to accomplish this task to further enhance the community,” concluded Heredia. For more information or to get involved in the project, send a message to https://www.facebook.com/sanbernardinoart or call 978-912-2240.

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