Diana Lopez spent three years raking through broken glass, needles, condoms, and other rubble to transform what used to be a bar into a community garden.
Her neighborhood on the east side of San Antonio was a “food desert,” without grocery stores or fresh produce. She believed a garden could help solve this problem and serve as an educational hub, connecting San Antonians to their agricultural heritage. With that, Lopez, environmental justice organizer for the Southwest Workers’ Union, teamed with her SWU colleagues, and Roots of Change was born.
Lopez, 21, won a Brower Youth Award for, among other things, her leading role in the Roots of Change renovation, which has inspired other community gardens. One local high school uses its garden as an “outdoor classroom,” teaching students environmental justice and food policy.
- : Will Allen’s farm offers fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, and a taste of the delicious possibilities of farming the urban food deserts.