A new community garden opened in Bloomfield Saturday on North 17th St. at Millbank Park. The opening was attended by elected officials, dozens of residents and gardeners, and also served as a celebration of Hispanic Heritage month.

“This Community Garden is a wonderful opportunity to teach our youth about the importance of gardening and eating fresh food. The garden also adds beauty and functionality to a formerly abandoned plot of land,“ said Mayor Michael Venezia. “This is wholesome way to bring Bloomfield residents together and ring in the fall season and Hispanic Heritage month. Membership numbers are growing rapidly at this new garden.”

Members of the Bloomfield Mandolin Orchestra provided beautiful live music at the event, as did local DJ Adam Cruz. Snacks were provided by Violante’s Meat Market and El Azteca. Lovlee Art Studios provided arts and crafts setup.

“I would like to thank Mayor Michael Venezia, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Michael Sceurman, and our active gardening community for advocating for urban farming,” said Third Ward Councilwoman Sarah Cruz. “Spaces like this really enhance the quality of life here in Bloomfield for those involved in these gardens, and even for those who just enjoy seeing the beautification taking place around them.”

Also in attendance Saturday were Councilman Nicholas Joanow, Councilwoman Wartyna Davis, Councilwoman Jenny Mundell, Councilman Ted Gamble, Fire Chief Louis Venezia and Essex County Freeholder and former Bloomfield Councilman Carlos Pomares.

The Millbank Community Garden is home to 26 – 4’x8’ rentable raised bed garden plots available to Bloomfield residents only. The cost to rent a garden plot is $50 per growing season (fee waived for veterans.) Plots are currently available for rent.

Interested in joining the community garden? Email bloomfieldnjgardens@gmail.com.

Support for the Community Garden comes from a grant from Partners for Health Foundation to the Neighbor to Neighbor Network.