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Willowbrook Community Garden Irrigation System

Location: Willowbrook, Los Angeles, CA

Date: March 16 (Design Meeting) and April 6 (Ollas Painting at Garden’s Spring Festival)

ASCE YMF volunteers met with community members from the Willowbrook Community Garden on March 16 to design and present potential infrastructure improvements including an irrigation system, an underground rainwater storage tank, and solar panels to provide electricity for security lights. The gardeners provided feedback on each of the proposed designs and expressed their priorities. Even though all the designs were received with excitement, there was a focus on security, reliability, and ease of use. Many of the gardeners in this community are elderly and an irrigation system to water the educational plots was identified as the design criteria of most interest.

Figure 1: Presenting Designs to Community Garden Members

After meeting with the gardeners, the volunteers consolidated all the feedback and brainstormed on different approaches for each of the designs. The conversation with the community members sparked several creative approaches for the irrigation system and the final design incorporated a component used by the garden using olla pots for slow irrigation. The volunteers noted the garden’s Annual Spring Festival (hosted on April 6th) as an opportunity to incorporate the children in the community to help decorate the olla pots.

The Spring Festival hosted at the Willowbrook Community Garden included storytelling, a grape workshop, pot painting, seed planting, and face painting. The kids in the community picked up paint and a brush to decorate the olla pots.

Figure 2: Design Meeting at Downtown LA

The final step is the installation of the irrigation system which will be taking place on Sunday April 14th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Lunch will be provided. Make sure to join us as we wrap up this adventure at the Willowbrook Community Garden.

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