How a City Heights community garden is growing resilience to climate change

Auto shops crowd the corner of University Avenue and 39th Street in City Heights, two blocks from Interstate 15. Down the alley behind Valvoline Instant Oil Change, past densely-packed apartments and the wide asphalt lot of Standard Plumbing and Industrial Supply, is an unexpected sight. Green plants grow riotous, pushing through the gaps in a chain-link fence.

A hand-painted sign reads: “The Revolutionary Grower’s Garden.” A breeze clinks another sign against the fence: “Everyone’s welcome here.”

The plumbing store owners lend the lot — once empty and overgrown with weeds — to the Black Panther Party of San Diego. Over the past six years, volunteer gardeners coaxed life from nearly every inch. The caretakers now squeeze between tightly-packed beds and towers of pots as they work together to tend them.

Gardener Dayze Dream labors alongside other volunteers to compost food scraps in the Revolutionary Grower's Garden in City Heights on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023.

Gardener Dayze Dream labors alongside other volunteers to compost food scraps in the Revolutionary Grower’s Garden in City Heights on
Read the rest