Melanie Papadopoulos and Eleanor Gee of Girl Scouts Troop #28935 just earned their Silver Award by completing a project to make a Community Garden inviting and vital for its neighborhood.

The Dr. Manuel M. Lopez Community Garden in Oxnard is a special place for many people, and the girls chose to travel to this garden because it serves families living in challenging circumstances.  There are even some homeless people transiting through the nearby train station that find refuge here.

Local people grow food, create art, gather together, and enjoy the garden’s green space in their midst. Their children also come to the garden for a safe place to read and play after school.

The Girl Scouts’ Silver Award Project adds new planters of herbs to the garden, plus children’s books in weatherproof storage, and refurbished garden furniture.

“This garden is already a pathway to a healthy, safe environment. We saw that they needed more places to sit and books for the kids to read,” Melanie said.

“We saw that people are really using this garden in lots of ways, and we wanted to make it glow. The herbs we’re planting can be used for cooking healthy meals,” Eleanor said.

Melanie and Eleanor raised money via cookie sales and donations, and then got busy with garden improvements.

“We learned a lot about planting herbs,” both girls agreed.

The girls and their families and troop members collected furniture and book donations, and they built and refurbished planters and outdoor furniture.

After all the new features were in place, the girls held a Spring Garden event for local children and families, including snacks, crafts, and other garden fun.

The girls’ project is complete, but the well-established garden volunteer community will continue to water and tend the herbs, and use the furniture and books for events.

To join, volunteer, or support, visit or call 213-213-0123.

Submitted by Francesca Taylor

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