Young Idyllwild, a local nonprofit with a mission to mentor and guide younger generations to become strong community leaders, is in the growing business.

Appropriately, it plans to create a community garden at the corner of Alderwood Street and North Circle Drive on land donated by Idyllwild realtor Dora Dillman. The stated mission of the project is to practice and teach permaculture to young and older garden volunteers — to find the highest and best productive use for the land while respecting the Earth, making use of solar power, rainwater collection, onsite composting, and gardening both vertically, with trellises, and horizontally with planter boxes.

Kathy Sacher-Wilson, Young Idyllwild president, said the garden is a work in progress. “Right now, we’re in a learning curve,” said Wilson. “We need to ascertain how much space will be available for community gardening and how much will be dedicated for permaculture educational involvement.

“Young Idyllwild is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the whole community, not just our younger residents. But for those who are younger, this will be an opportunity for them to pay it forward — to learn skill sets that could evolve into jobs that help others.”

Said Dillman, “This whole project can be a stepping stone as part of our overall community development — to having more acreage and more produce production at some point in the future. We’re seeking help from the entire community. We need to terrace the land and have a paved driveway access. It’s an evolutionary process.”

The Young Idyllwild board is looking for sponsors to help fund costs of planter boxes, a green house, garden tools, systems to collect rain water, trellis planters and top soil.

The board plans to sell some produce once the garden is up and running to help fund ongoing infrastructure development, but the majority will be donated to the HELP Center. “Our main produce will be organic, which we’ll donate to the HELP Center to be distributed through their voucher system,” said Wilson.

The board is asking local restaurants and others to donate their green waste for composting. “We will supply 5-gallon buckets to collect the waste.”

To donate and support this project, contact Wilson at [email protected]. Checks can be sent to Young Idyllwild Inc., P.O. Box 3578, Idyllwild, CA 92549.

Organizers hope to have grading and soil preparation completed in June. They also are seeking gardener volunteers.