History of Emeryville's Community Organic Gardens

The Emeryville Community Organic Garden, located at 59th and Doyle Streets, was established in 1992 through the efforts of a community group lead by then-resident Elaine Drukman. A second garden, located at Peralta and West MacArthur, was built in 2002 primarily through the efforts of resident Vickie Sowell. The second garden is known as Big Daddy's Complete Rejuvenating Community Garden and was named after the auto business that once existed on the site. 

The City of Emeryville originally leased both garden sites from the property owners at the time. Big Daddy's site is still being leased by the City and subleased to the community gardeners. In 2004, the Emeryville Community Organic Garden was removed for the Doyle Street Greenway project, at which time the City purchased the land and rezoned it a public park. At the completion of the Greenway project in 2005, the garden was rebuilt on the same site. Both gardens were built entirely by volunteers and funding for the construction came from the City and from local donors.

In 2008, the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency acquired a small residential parcel at 1042 48th Street with the plan to build a new garden on the site. Development was delayed by remediation and legal issues, and by the elimination of the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency in 2011. In  2014 the City was finally able to secure funding and work out all the issues that allowed for the building of Temescal Creek Community Organic Garden (TEMCOG). The work was done by a combination of paid contracts and volunteer labor.