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Elm Avenue Community Garden Growing Strong Residents Encouraged to Submit Projects for 2011 UNITE Program

November 6, 2010 marked the launch of the City of Lancaster’s Uniting Neighbors in a Team Effort (UNITE) Program, which aims to provide area residents with a forum to propose neighborhood improvement projects and compete for the funding and resources they need to bring these projects to fruition. Among the efforts initiated on the event’s inaugural project day was the Elm Avenue Community Garden, under the leadership of Dave Mashore and Master Gardener Susie Bowman. Now, six months later, the dream of a thriving community garden in the heart of downtown Lancaster is still growing strong. The site celebrated its official grand opening this Saturday, June 4 at 10:00 am at the corner of Elm Avenue and Milling Street. 

In November, more than 100 volunteers turned out to help transform what was once a vacant lot into a neighborhood gathering place which would also serve to provide participating families with fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables. In this first phase, volunteers worked together to clear weeds; dig irrigation ditches; and build planters. 

“The Elm Avenue Community Garden is an excellent example of a project with the power to truly unite a neighborhood,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Not only did it bring more than 100 local residents together to work toward a common goal on its initial launch day; it will also continue to bring neighbors together day after day, year after year as they enjoy the healthful benefits of gardening and growing their own organic produce.” 

The garden’s next major workday was the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, when over 110 volunteers gathered to make further improvements to the garden, including raised bed planters throughout. Eventually, the garden will feature gardening classes for the community; a meditation area; a garden shed donated by Youthbuild; a mosaic garden sign donated by local artist Kris Holladay; and more. More than a dozen local organizations and businesses have supported the garden, including: 

• America the Beautiful Fund
• City of Lancaster
• Home Depot
• Lees Bees
• Paving the Way Foundation
• Round Table Pizza
• Superior Nursery
• Sparkletts Water
• Starbucks Coffee
• Target
• The Catalyst Foundation
• Tip Top Tree Service
• Wal-Mart
• Wallace Demolition 

“I encourage our residents to put their creativity and energy to work on projects such as this,” added Parris. “Only you know how your neighborhood could best benefit from this program. I urge you to put that vital knowledge to good use by proposing a project that would enhance your area of our community, whether it be a community garden; a mural; an after-school program; or something entirely original.” 

This year’s UNITE Program is now accepting applications. To apply, visit, click “UNITE Lancaster Program,” and download an application. Applications must be received by 5:00 pm on Friday, June 17. Further information is available on the website, by phone at (661) 723-6072, or via e-mail at

June 8, 2011 Posted by | antelope valley, ANTELOPE VALLEY BUSINESS, antelope valley community, Mayor R. Rex Parris, Uniting Neighbors in a Team Effort | , , , , | Leave a comment

Lancaster Neighborhood Vitalization Commission to Host Youth Entrepreneur Presentation

Lancaster Neighborhood Vitalization Commission to Host Youth Entrepreneur Presentation

WHAT:          The City of Lancaster’s Neighborhood Vitalization Commission (LNVC) will host a presentation by participants in the Future Business Initiative (FBI), an entrepreneur workshop for youth ages 12-17. The five-week workshop was selected to receive City assistance through the Uniting Neighbors in a Team Effort (UNITE) Program and was launched on Nov. 6, along with 10 other UNITE projects. Participants learned business fundamentals and worked in teams to create business plans. The winning team will present their business plan to the LNVC at its regular meeting.

WHERE:        Lancaster City Hall Council Chambers

44933 N. Fern Ave.

Lancaster, CA 93534

WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011

4:00 pm

WHO: LNVC Chair Tim Sturtevant

LNVC Vice Chair Steven Derryberry

LNVC Commissioners:

Bret Banks

Larry Grooms

Lisa Moulton

David Sinclair

Lew Stults

Assistant to the City Manager Kelvin Tainatongo

Safer Stronger Neighborhoods Chair Patti Garibay

FBI participants

December 27, 2010 Posted by | city of lancaster, Future Business Initiative, Lancaster Neighborhood Vitalization Commission, Uniting Neighbors in a Team Effort, Youth Entrepreneur Presentation | , , , , | Leave a comment