Photos by Brian Addison. Gallery below.

This past Saturday marked the official opening of Long Beach’s first entirely ADA-accessible community garden, The Children’s Gateway Garden, at Cesar Chavez Park in downtown Long Beach.

The $45K Gateway Garden, largely the dream of Willmore City Heritage Association President Kathleen Irvine, was funded mostly through private means, with $20,000 coming from the City of Long Beach. The 4,800 sq. ft. space along the Los Angeles River is what Irvine describes “a true community garden.”

“Too often, I realized that most community gardens are very exclusive,” Irvine said. “I think there’s a truer definition to ‘community garden’… And that means catering to everyone because the importance maintaing a relationship with nature in the city is becoming paramount. The Children’s Gateway Garden is the first completely ADA accessible fruit and vegetable garden in Long Beach. No matter what ability, young or old, everyone can enjoy growing and enjoying fresh produce in an urban environment.”

The garden is marked with nine 30-inch high vegetable and fruit beds set amongst solid 6-foot wide pathways. The design ultimately avoids low-lying beds and unstable pathways such as those made with mulch or sand that are able-bodied accessible only.

The Children’s Gateway Garden is within Cesar Chavez Park, located at 401 Golden Avenue.