Growing Better Lives at Phoenix Garden


Open to the general public, the Phoenix Garden is a seven-acre, county-owned site that has been set aside to provide therapy for vulnerable children and teens on the road of rehabilitation. The incorporation of gardening makes it possible for youth with traumatic experiences to benefit from exposure to nature and the company of County workers, family members, and friends. Through commitment from volunteers, the project is now coming into fruition to provide new opportunities for youth with a promising future.

On Wednesday, August 16, the Office of Diversity and Equity participated in a team building at the garden. Several members of the ODE team contributed their time in a collaborative effort as part of a greater plan to assist with the healthy development of young people.

While simultaneously bonding with each other and engaging with the environment, ODE stressed the importance of recovery and wellness by helping to create an avenue for restorative justice. Projects included watering, taking measurements for the establishment of future irrigation systems, planting rosemary, and sheet mulching. Together, led by Chris Jensen, Regina Moreno, and Toni DeMarco, the team put a tremendous sweat into the growth of the Phoenix Garden, a large work in progress.

As a closing exercise, volunteers were encouraged to share out their reflective thoughts. A recurring theme was feeling tired, but accomplished and with a renewed sense of purpose from giving back to the community. The Phoenix Garden is well under way towards becoming a sustainable agricultural ecosystem where all helping hands are welcomed.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Phoenix Garden, please reach out to Kris Jensen at

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” –William Shakespeare

Written by Karla Mendoza, ODE Summer Intern