It’s official. The National Training Center and Fort Irwin has a community garden where you can grow your tomatoes, cilantro and peppers.
A ceremony, May 1, commemorated the opening of the Fort Irwin Community Garden, which was built with support from various individuals and organizations. The garden and irrigation system was put together with materials, labor, equipment use, and expertise that were mostly donated.
Organizations involved included: Home Depot, CH2M Hill, 916th Support Brigade, the 58th Combat Engineer Company, Directorate of Public Works and Fort Irwin U.S. Army Garrison. Much of the effort was coordinated by Capt. Jose Gutierrez, a nurse corps officer with MEDDAC, here, and president of the Community Garden.
Fort Irwin U.S. Army Garrison Commander Col. Kurt Pinkerton thanked the organizations and Soldiers, who helped in the effort to build the unique facility.
“As far as I know, we are the first Army installation to have a community garden, and for that I thank all the Soldiers, our business sponsors, and all the individuals who participated in making this a reality – and be very proud of what you did,” Pinkerton said.
The ceremony took place on this installation’s Earth Day celebration, and Pinkerton mentioned that Earth Day principles should be adhered to everyday.
“This garden represents the importance of the understanding, as a human race, of taking care of our environment,” Pinkerton said. “Taking care of environment is important as a culture, as a country, as a nation, but it’s even more important as a military, because if we take care of our environment, we lengthen the sustainability of every one of our installations.”
Certificates of appreciation were presented that morning, followed by a ceremonial cutting of a ribbon in front of the artistic, metal gate leading to the planters filled with dark-colored earth – all ready for seeding. If you would like to get involved, go to the Fort Irwin Community Garden page on Facebook or call the garden’s vice president Catherine Cook at (760) 382-3415. The plots are located near the athletic field on Inner Loop Road and Barstow Road.