By Jill Adair
In the tradition of giving back to the communities the Chicago Cubs are involved in, their wives built a greenhouse Monday morning at Mesa Urban Garden.
Cubs Wives, part of Cubs Charities, finished the assembly of a greenhouse with the financial support of the Cubs Foundation, completing a task on Mesa Urban Garden organizers’ to-do list.
The frame of the greenhouse has been at the site for several months. But Mesa City Councilman Ryan Winkle, a founder of Mesa Urban Garden, said extra hands were needed to finish the greenhouse project, including installing shelves.
Cubs Wives volunteered to complete work on the greenhouse plant seed starter trays. Seedlings grown in the greenhouse will be transplanted to several plots that supply produce to local food banks, Winkle said.
Mesa Urban Garden, at 212 E. 1st Ave., is a popular event space and a source of locally grown food for families, food banks and nearby restaurants. Winkle said that after nearly five years of operation, the garden is firmly rooted as a downtown Mesa community gathering place and a point of pride for revitalization of the Southside Heights neighborhood.
Winkle said it has exceeded the expectations of its founders and the volunteers who run it.
“I started the Mesa Urban Garden about five years ago,” Winkle said. “This was my entry into public projects with the city as a partner (the rent for the land is $1 a year). All the original board has gone on to higher service. It’s an all volunteer, all donation community garden and event center. The most successful community garden in the Valley.”
But as every gardener knows, there’s always room for improvement.
He said the greenhouse built today adds another amenity to an urban garden that features 120 plots and event space for a variety of uses, such as art shows, weddings and yoga classes.
The Cubs won the 2016 National League Championship Series and 2016 World Series, which ended a 71-year National League pennant drought and a 108-year World Series championship drought. Mesa’s Sloan Park, 2330 W. Rio Salado Parkway, is Spring Training home of the Cubs