A garden that connects through the US/Mexico border wall
Border Garden Service Project
Hands are always needed at the Binational Friendship Garden of Native Plants, a garden plot that connects through the US/Mexico border wall. At the garden, communities come together from both sides inside a space created for people to make friends across boundaries and promote native flora of our binational region. Everyone is welcome at the garden where volunteer groups large and small have helped over the years to maintain the garden and send our message that friendship and native flora have no borders. See below for the options and logistics of activities available.
Gardening at Friendship Park
The Binational garden is located inside Friendship Park, a space inaugurated in 1971 when then first lady Pat Nixon planted a tree to match the trees on the Mexican side and had her secret service cut the barbed wire fence so she could greet people across the border. The garden was planted inside the park when students from both sides of the border came together on March 7th, 2007 during a “Border encuentro” as a way to breach the gap for an environmental festival happening on the Mexican side. The garden grew and became large binational circles in 2012 to match the circle theme around the binational monument at the park. As the garden grew, the community grew around it and, despite restrictions to access on the US side, the garden has become a point of encounter on the Mexican side. Food justice groups and the local municipality in “Playas de Tijuana” have gotten involved and garden beds are maintained by the community for the homeless and hungry on the Mexican side. Access is still allowed on the US side in a controlled fashion and when volunteers are allowed in, the binational community works together through the border wall to improve the garden and create community without borders. The base garden volunteers depend heavily on visiting groups to make needed improvements to the garden and to maintain our symbolic space of unity and collaboration.
Via International can create three levels of cross-border activities for your group to choose from:
Tour of The Garden
Learn up close the purpose of the garden, it’s history, and importance to the region. Walk among the native flora and learn from native plant experts about the sample of flora in our garden and how it contributes to the larger unique ecosystem created by the combining of the Tijuana river and the sea. Learn the history and struggles it took to create a garden right at the US/Mexico border. The tour culminates with a visit to our “wish garden” where you write a wish on a rock inside the circle that connects through the border wall.