Community gardening with the SCV Water Agency

Mahnaz Hassanvan (cq) of Valencia prepares to plant more vegetables in her garden at the Community Garden of Santa Clarita located at Central Park in Saugus. Hassanvan, a life-long gardener, started her 10X20 garden patch at The Community Garden in January, which includes vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Santa Clarita Valley residents drive by dozens of different wildflowers on their way to work, shop and play, but did you know there are plenty of ways to have those flowers in your backyard, thanks to the SCV Water Agency.

Central Park is well-known for having a community garden ripe with fruit trees, herbs and other delectable goodies, and right next to Santa Clarita’s largest park lies SCV Water, which has its own garden that some residents have described as the most beautiful in the city.

Instead of turning right to enter Central Park via Bouquet Canyon Road, residents are invited turn left at the big brown sign and drive up to the guard tower, where a friendly face will give you a parking pass and send you on the way up the steep driveway.

Once at the top of the hill, spectators will be treated to views of a 6-acre conservation garden.

“Most people don’t know about it,” said event coordinator Karen Denkinger. “It’s pretty stunning and it’s a working garden, (meaning) we plant things, try them out and if they don’t work, then we pull them out and start over.”

The garden is free to to the public seven days a week and is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during Saturday and Sunday, Denkinger said, mentioning a great time to come view the garden would be during the agency’s Open House event, which is set to occur the first weekend of May from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 4.

“We have Open House every May to celebrate California’s Water Awareness Month,” the event’s coordinator said. “We’re going to have a vendor area down in Central Park that day, so some landscapes and gardeners will have booths set up. We’ll also have the sanitation district there along with vector control and the Placerita Nature Center and their critters.”

Attendees will also enjoy a DJ on the patio so they can dance while overlooking the garden, or head back down to the park for a children’s water show.

“There will also be a company doing cararactictures — again for free — and we will have a lot of other activities on the patio,” Denkinger said, highlighting the “Water Talks” discussion that will feature SCV Water Board members and staff experts who will answer questions from the public. “It’s just a really nice day.”

Those who are interested can participate in a tour of the treatment plant where they will learn how the city treats the water residents use, according to Denkinger, who’s been participating in the event since 1994.

“We also have composting class that day. It’ll be 9:30-11:30 a.m.,” Denkinder said. The agency will also continue hosting its two free gardening classes every month throughout the summer. For a complete list of classes, visit

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