Sara Aguilar, Community Gardener

An interview with Sara Aguilar, a local resident from Boyle Heights who shares the importance of growing and sustaining community gardens in the neighborhood

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Some of the most pressing issues that the neighborhood of Boyle Heights faces today are the preservation of nature and stopping the environmental impact of pollution. Community members in Boyle Heights have been addressing this through nurturing their own gardens and sharing the ancestral knowledge that has been passed down to them by past generations to strengthen their relationship with the land. 

Among these environmentalists is Sara Aguilar, a Boyle Heights resident who advocates for the importance of community gardens and green areas in predominantly urban/industrial neighborhoods. During her conversation with Eva, Sara challenges the commonly held misconception of having to “escape” the concrete jungle of the city in order to connect with nature. While taking us on a tour of the garden in her backyard, she shows us that it is possible for communities to enjoy nature and develop strong relationships within the city itself through community gardens and preserving the land in our own backyards. 

"I was interested in doing this interview with Sara because in my community there are very few green areas; in fact the largest green area that we have in Boyle Heights is the cemetery. It's nice to know that there are spaces with organic and healthy fruits, vegetables. Talking with Sara inspired and motivated me to share this knowledge with the community. Her generosity and warmth impacted me. Their family garden was is a very lovely gesture." -Eva Garcia

ACTA · Sounds of CA - Boyle Heights
What was it like to start the garden?
“When we planted our first vegetable garden, the soil was very hard. We knew that it was important to be able to maintain a garden that would give us food, that we could use to teach our daughter...that she could see that one can have autonomy and something of her own that she can see grow." - Sara Aguilar