Guam Green Growth Expands Community Garden to Dededo

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Guam Green Growth and Guåhan Sustainable Culture are watering a budding project in Dededo, which is expected to fully sprout this October!

PNC’s Destiny Cruz has more…

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G3 and Americorps GSC are expanding a new community garden at the Dededo Sports Complex to bolster food security and sovereignty in Guam.

The new garden is in addition to the current community gardens in Talo’fo’fo and Hagåtña, which aims to broaden access to fresh produce in Guam’s northern area and achieve the United Nations sustainability development goals.

This community effort makes strides toward self-sustainment for Guam to address the island’s reliance on imported foods and goods, a vulnerability only underscored by the pandemic.

In an interview with PNC this morning, Dr. Austin Shelton, Director of the UOG Center for Island Sustainability and UOG Sea Grant, expanded on this issue, highlighting that 90% of all food and goods consumed in Guam are imported.

He said in part, “During the pandemic and even into the current day, we’re still seeing vulnerabilities in supply chain issues– we have containers of food arriving late. Early in the pandemic, we heard cases of possible meat shortages and having to worry about these reductions and empty shelves on the stores in Guam.”

To combat this recurring issue, Dr. Shelton encouraged Guam’s residents to support local.

He said,  “It is easy to buy imported goods, but we always encourage our residents to buy as much local products first– buy local first is always a good practice. We also need to produce more locally so that there are more options. The northern Guam Green Growth community garden will increase a little bit more of our food security there– in what we can produce in that footprint of the community garden.”

Shelton said the garden would benefit Guam’s community in more ways than one, as individuals will receive the educational tools and materials to grow produce at home. In addition, individuals who make up the homeless community will receive a portion of the community garden harvest.

When asked how the garden would be maintained and developed, Dr. Shelton said, “We will then be partnering again with Guåhan Sustainable Culture Americorps, where they will be tending to the garden on a daily basis, ensuring that weeds are pulled, that the new seedlings are planted, and they’re engaging with the community along the way to help with the planting and harvesting and educational outreach to teach any of the residents in the north, how to their own community garden in backyard gardens.”

Ground raising for the Dededo garden is set for October of this year.

To learn how to get involved and for more details about the garden, individuals can contact gusustainable@gmail.com.

Destiny Cruz, PNC News First.