Research, Partnerships, and Applications
Since 2018, Open Gaarden has collaborated with several institutional partners and research centers, including CSU Dominguez Hills, Whittier College, RootDown LA, Garden School Foundation, SEELA, and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA).
2018 - CSUDH MPA Seminar (Dr. Fynnwin Prager, collaborator)
This ongoing research collaboration has resulted in several white papers demonstrating the potential for utilizing Open Gaarden as a policy-making tool for food justice advocates, land use planners, and government agencies. Student researchers identified new possible urban farming sites across the South Bay. See PAPERS HERE.
2020 – Local Food and Farmers Markets Program (Rootdown LA and SEELA, collaborators)
This project resulted from a USDA LFFMP planning grant linking South Central farmers with local chefs. As a sub-awardee for the grant, Open Gaarden plays a key role in applied community connectivity through local foodways.
2020 – MESA Agroecology Project (Collaborator, MESA)
In collaboration with CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability and MESA, Open Gaarden will co-design a georeferenced database on the app to locate and support new training cohorts from the CSUN-MESA agroecology program (supported by a USDA 2501 grant).
Grants and Support:
Since 2018, Open Gaarden has been generously supported by several institutions, including Whittier College (2018 faculty research grant) and a 2019 faculty research fellowship from the Haynes Foundation (see link to project here).
In 2020, Open Gaarden was included in an USDA LFFMP “Planning Grant” linking South Central farmers with local chefs. As a sub-awardee for the grant, Open Gaarden plays a key role in applied community connectivity through local foodways.
Open Gaarden is a supporter of and/or collaborates with other similar digital mapping projects. Zappia is a Co-PI on the Historical Ecology of Los Angeles Mapping Project (HELAR), a multi-institutional effort to reimagine Los Angeles (LINK). Zappia is the project manager of the Early California Cultural Atlas, a historical mapping database recreating early California’s mission history, as well as a co-creator of CSUN’s “Toxic Tour Story Mapping Project.”
Open Gaarden has been featured in numerous conferences and public presentations, including:
- 2020 “Sustainability: More than an Ethos” (Panelist), Los Angeles Public Library
- 2020 “Sustainable Curriculum: Interdisciplinarity in a Capstone Course”
(Presenter), California Higher Education Sustainability Conference
- 2020 “Sustainability and the Future of Urban Development”
(Invited Public Panelist) Conrad Hilton Foundation Symposium
- 2020 “Open Gardens: Re-envisioning Gardens, Foodscapes, and History in LA”
(Invited Public Lecture) College of Health and Human Development, CSUN
- 2019 “Urban Oases: Rethinking Biodiversity On Our Campus and In Our City”
(Invited Public Lecture) California State University, Northridge
- 2019 “Open Gärden and Urban Farming in Los Angeles”
(Invited Public Lecture) Los Angeles Food Policy Council
- 2019 “Open Garden: Re-envisioning Gardens and History in Los Angeles” (Invited Public Lecture), City of Santa Monica
The project began early in 2018 and was initially conceived as a teaching tool in both my history and ENST courses at Whittier. Students downloaded the app and completed assignments that include georeferencing gardens, trees, historic agricultural sites, and natural spaces. Further, my history students used the app to upload digital archival images, which were correlated with GPS locations throughout LA County. The results have evolved into an ongoing, open-ended research project that has and will continue to grow beyond Whittier and into the public sphere. Beyond pedagogy, the app connects urban agricultural hubs where student community members, and farmers of color can connect via digital platforms to collaborate environmental justice issues.
OG has been utilized in Zappia’s LA Foodscapes class. See SYLLABUS HERE.
2018 – digitizing historical images project:
Two student researchers began archiving images for the “AR/VR Time Machine” feature that will appear in future versions of OG. See GALLERY of selected images and links here.
Check out these links to similar digital history projects: