The Benicia Community Gardens Story
The story of Benicia Community Gardens (BCG) begins when the late Dr. Ed Swenson established Benicia’s first community garden in 1999 on a property at Military & East 2nd Streets owned by Heritage Presbyterian Church. With the start of the garden, Dr. Swenson also envisioned creating a non-profit organization, Benicia Community Gardens (BCG). From the early days of our existence, the primary mission of BCG has always been educational: to provide opportunities for people of all ages, skills and abilities to learn about and practice organic farming methods suitable for home yards and limited urban spaces. That very first garden, Swenson Garden, was named after Dr. Swenson in gratitude for his vision and his contribution to community sustainability at the time when this concept was not even widely understood.
We carry on Dr. Swenson’s vision that a community garden is a place of welcoming, invigorating activity and hands-on practice that can produce a “second harvest” of important social, economic, and ecological benefits. In learning to maintain nutrient-rich soils and to grow robust healthy food crops year-round, new gardeners become seasoned advocates for improved nutrition, public health, water conservation, and better stewardship of our lands and waterways so that future generations might sustain themselves.