Mirando al Futuro: The Beach Flats Community Garden

Uncover one community garden’s history of cultivation, community change, and historical preservation within a rapidly changing city.

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November 2nd, 2018 - September 2nd, 2019

2nd Floor History Gallery

Uncover one community garden’s history of cultivation, community change, and historical preservation within a rapidly changing city.


Over 25 years, the Beach Flats Community Garden– located just a mile away from the MAH in the Beach Flats neighborhood of Santa Cruz– has been a rich space for youth education and food production. The stewards of the land have passed along agroecological practices, traditions, and knowledge from Mexico and Central America. Some gardeners have worked their plots for over fifteen years.

To learn the story of the garden is to learn the story of histories of immigration, community organizing, and alternative food movements. The story of the Beach Flats Community Garden is the story of an entire neighborhood.

What landmarks do we preserve? How do we honor cultural spaces?

A History of Activism

In 2015, the landowners reclaimed two-thirds of the garden's area. Relive the community response this sparked through local coverage.

"With so little park space, the garden has long provided a respite from the noise that fills the air during summer nights...In that context, the garden’s disappearance quickly became an emotional one."

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