East Valencia Urban Garden Program

Growing Food and Community Together

Cultivando La Comida y La Comunidad Juntos

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Join the community gardens!

Learn how to grow food econmically and while conserving water and soil resources. Kids are welcome and volunteers may harvest produce too!

Meadow LakeFridays 7am - 9am

100 Cuerro Ln, behind the Community Center

El Cerro Mission: Friday 8am - 10am

309 El Cerro Mission Rd, behind Community Center

Overview of Our Program

The East Valencia Urban Gardens Program (EVUGP) aims to increase access to locally grown and healthy food, conserve water and soil resources, increase economic opportunities and reach youth through farming and gardening of fruits and vegetables in El Cerro Mission and Meadow Lake, NM. EVUGP started out of concerns that East Valencia communities are drastically underserved, with higher poverty rates and considered a food desert with only convenient stores available. We reach hundreds of community members each year through events, workshops, interships and volunteer opportunities that teach about how to grow food in an arid, hot climate, teach community members how to grow food directly from two community gardens. We also donate over 2,500 lbs of fresh produce in the communities each year from these gardens. 

We are:

  • Community members from El Cerro Mission and Meadow Lake demonstrating small-scale regenerative practices ;
  • TWO community gardens, in El Cerro Mission and Meadow Lake;

  • Fifteen youth interns learning everything from planting seeds to harvesting and selling produce;

  • Free workshops and classes for the community;

  • Seed to Supper Spring 6-week class series, to start your own backyard garden;

  • Financial Assistance programs to start backyard gardens and conserve water and soil resources (water harvesting, native plants, hoop houses, and more)  

News-Bulletin Article May, 2021

Community Garden Gets Funding


Check out the 4-part Permaculture Basics video series featuring Michael Reed, local Certified Permaculture Instructor and Designer. Learn about how to incorporate holistic ways of working with land, water and creatures to provide habitat AND lots of food. These concepts can be incorporated at any scale and any type of land management project - farming, landscaping, ranching, gardening and restoration. These videos were created by VSWCD with support from a Permaculture Grant awarded by NM Foundation. Click our Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District YouTube Channel for all 4 video links. 

Grow Your Own Garden!
Download a short lesson and directions for your family to grow a garden. Choose a method that works for your home. Either try Container Gardening or Planting a Garden in the Ground. Free seeds are available in the Little Library box outside of the Meadow Lake Community Center. Email for questions anytime!
EVUGP grab n go_ gardens 2020.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [787.0 KB]

UPDATE: 2020 National Association of Conservation Districts Urban Agriculture Grant Awardee!!

East Valencia Urban Gardens was awarded $50,000 for the next year. These funds go towards many projects:

  • Expanding the El Cerro Mission Community Garden to twice as large. Includes a fruit tree orchard, private garden beds for community members to rent, and a kids' gardening section;
  • Creating a District-wide school garden network to support teachers/community members in starting a school garden;
  • Creating a local grower's market or food distribution system on the East Mesa that includes opportunities for folks with SNAP benefits,
  • Starting a Kids Summer Gardening Program in Meadow Lake and El Cerro Mission;
  • Creating a Community Advisory Group to make decisions at the community gardens, and
  • Developing partnerships and a long-term plan for sustainability of the program,
  • Continuing other program components like workshops, soil testing, the Youth Farming Internship, etc.


UPDATE: 2020 New Mexico Department of Agriculture Heathly Soils Education Grant Awardee!!

East Valencia Urban Gardens was awarded $12,430 for the next year to go towards a healthy soils education project:

  • We will work with 10 local growers/ranchers and 15 youth interns to test the use of the Johnson-Su Bioreactor Compost on pasture, productions farms, community gardens and backyard gardens.
  • Participants will be trained in Healthy Soils Principles.
  • The project will culminate with a tour and workshop in the Fall for the public to learn from.

Community Gardens Wish List

The community gardens rely on donations from the community to support the start of the community gardens so that the opportunity remains free for participants. If you have items to donate to the garden please contact us at EVUrbanGardens@gmail.com. Thank you!!


Fruit trees and shrubs 

Straw bails (old or new)

Picnic Tables or Chairs and Tables

4x4 and 2x4 wood (old or new) for raised beds

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Valencia SWCD

PO Box 170

Belen, NM 87002


Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area
2424 Hwy 47
Belen, NM  87002


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2021 Holiday Schedule
Office and grounds will be closed in observance of these days.

Monday, May 31st Memorial Day


Monday, July 5th, Fourth of July Federal Observance Holiday


Monday, September 6th Labor Day

Monday, October 11th Indigenous Peoples Day

Thursday, November 11th Veterans Day

Thursday, November 25th Thanksgiving Day

Saturday, December 25th Christmas Day

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