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PHOTOS: Controversial Community Garden Opens

Neighbors unsuccessfully fought the Loma Vista garden project.

Happy gardeners tended to their new plots at the Loma Vista Community Garden for the first time Saturday, despite efforts by neighbors to send the recently-approved project back to the drawing board.

The new community garden includes 25 plots on land originally earmarked for a city park. The Watsonville City Council approved the garden proposal in April after a brief public input period that many in opposition to the project have criticized as too fast and not inclusive of the community.

that the garden will increase traffic and trash in the residential area, threaten the wetlands habitat that sits below the plots and impact wildlife. People still regularly speak at city council meetings to ask city council members to rescind the decision and allow more time for public input.

Two Patch bloggers wrote about their opposition to the garden, "itsmecissy" and "wetlands watchdog".

But for those in favor of the project, the new garden is a treasure where they can grow fresh vegetables for their families. Pajaro Valley Unified School District Trustee Leslie DeRose said she was among the 25 lucky enough to get a plot.

Other community gardens are planned for Watsonville neighborhoods in the near future.

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