In 2008, Fremont resident Bruce Cates founded LEAF with the vision of creating a community garden at the California Nursery Historical Park in Fremont’s historic Niles district. The organization began raising funds and negotiating a lease for half an acre of land with the City of Fremont, which owns the park. In the meantime, LEAF started a community garden in a vacant lot in downtown Niles as well as other gardens with churches and community groups, and it began offering gardening workshops to the public.
Once a lease was procured, for the LEAF Center, the garden was built with the aid of many donations, countless hours of work by dozens of volunteers and valuable support from local businesses and institutions. The garden opened in October 2014 and now rents planters to Tri-City residents.
In addition, Dr. Chris Stone offered LEAF a free, long-term lease on a half-acre of land behind her Mission Valley Veterinary Clinic for the C.R. Stone LEAF Garden, where volunteers use permaculture methods to grow food for donation to the Tri-City Volunteers Food Bank.
LEAF members are proud to have installed Fremont’s first public community garden and to provide healthy food for Tri-City Volunteers Food Bank.
In addition to operating community gardens, LEAF also propagates veggie seedlings for sale through local retailers and directly to LEAF members.