A Look At Us

Hello! As an organization dedicated to people, we would like to share a little information about the organizers who had the bud of an idea and are now able to see it in full bloom!


Paul Watson

Formerly Executive Director of the Training and Research Institute for Residential Youth Centers in New Haven, CT; San Diego Youth and Community Services; and Watson and Associates International. Paul began his career as a youth organizer at the age of 17. He has a Master’s degree from Springfield College. He began a consultant organization in 1998 and specialized in Community Development, Youth Development, Child Welfare, and Organizational Development. He successfully completed international projects in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan), The Netherlands, Brazil, Jamaica, and Egypt. He is a national trainer in Youth Development and a member of the Community Youth Development Design Team. He was trained as an ICA Participatory Facilitator. Paul has also served as faculty at Springfield College, New School of Architecture and Design, San Diego City College, and UC San Diego. Paul has won numerous awards and has published both books and articles.


William Oswald

Bill received his Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island where he studied Community Psychology. Prior to this work he served as Dean/faculty at Springfield College, School of Human Services and as a community organizer/educator. His work included serving as lead organizer for Workers Association for Guaranteed Employment, Executive Director of the Foundation for Community Organization in Rhode Island, and Director of Community Development for Tenants United for Public Housing Progress in Boston. He has also worked as an independent Community Development consultant providing technical assistance to grassroots, community organizations.

His more recent work includes: the Caring Council (Chair), a network pushing for policy changes that impact the lives of people living in poverty; Supportive Parents Information Network (SPIN), a constituent-led network of families living near or below the Federal poverty line; United Women of East Africa, an ethnic-based community organization giving voice to their community; City Heights Youth for Change, a refugee youth group serving as a pipeline for the development of progressive leaders/activists; the Parent~Student~Resident Organization that organizes the community around education; and Mid-City CAN Building Healthy Communities Initiative, a community-wide mobilization to develop and implement a 10-year plan to transform the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego into a healthy community.

Recent reports include “Hunger and the Safety Net in San Diego County” and “Barriers to Quality Healthcare for East African Families as Identified by East African Women.” Both studies were participatory action studies. The first was conducted by 12 women living near or below the Federal poverty line. The second study was conducted by 23 East African refugee women from six different African countries.


Marina Castelo

Marina started with the garden three years ago (in 2015). She has been a part of this community for 20 years and recently moved closer to the garden. She began to work with the garden because she had known Mr Bill from before, and saw a place she could help contribute to the goals of this project. She is one of the community outreach specialists of the garden; involving the community and explaining what we do to encourage more people to join our efforts and share in the community experience. For her, the garden is therapeutic: it is a place to go and relax and not have to think about anything else but the plants and enjoying her time here. The garden offers a free and fun place to be!


Deron White

He is one of the community outreach team members of the OVGG, has resided in the Southeast Community 40 plus years. He is also the founder of Peace & Unity For
Our Community a non-profit organization that promotes peace and unity
in this community as well as mentoring our youth.

And we couldn’t have done this without the tremendous help from our dedicated volunteers, who have day in and day out made this work so worthwhile! Thank you all and let’s get digging this Saturday!

New Art-ition

We are in the process of featuring a new artition to the garden! Community member, Stephen Johnson, installed a new art project at the Ocean View Growing Grounds!20180813_115416

Partners in Planting

Because no one has ever truly gotten somewhere alone, we would like to mention (and thank) our friends:

UCSD Center for Sustainability Science, Planning and Design- a major partner in helping to expand scientific literature into communicable knowledge for the community. You can find more information on their webpage: https://usp.ucsd.edu/Research/index.html

Food 2 Soil- one of our working partners; they share space within our community garden. They have built a network of community composting hubs including food scrap drop-off networks. There is more information on what they do at: http://www.food2soil.net

San Diego Food System Alliance- a collaborative and advocacy group promoting equitable food systems in San Diego. Their webpage is: www.sdfsa.org

San Diego Community Garden Network- a network of all the community gardens in S.D. If you would like to learn more, check out their webpage: sdcgn.org

Inner City Athletic Program- one of our newest partners who are committed to decreasing childhood obesity through athletics. Currently we are collaborating to bring kids to the garden on a weekly basis to discuss and demonstrate the science and nutrition (as well as the physical exercise) of gardening. Their webpage is: www.icapsd.com

And lastly; Girl Scout Troop (Troop # 4044)- they are responsible for assisting us on numerous projects including creating a raised bed, planting their own plot, and the creation of the kid’s corner.



No Longer in the Desert

Ocean View Growing Garden has been featured in the San Diego Reader for being a positive force in enriching the food access of our community! Click on the following link to see the PDF:

Out of the Food Desert. San Diego Reader. Vol. 47, No. 19, pp. 14-22

“Share What You Love”

Welcome to the Ocean View Growing Grounds Blog! We are a community garden located in South East San Diego with a commitment to embracing nature, engaging community members with one another, and revealing the life benefits of eating healthy, spending time with friends, and getting our hands dirty. We are excited to spread our conversation from in the dirt to the screens of our community. Together we can heighten the conversation and share our thoughts and tips with you. Now you can be alerted to a new harvest and learn about different (tasty) preparation ways for these plants, with our own page: Harvests and Recipes–all with posting mouth-watering pictures that will make you want to try it on your own plate! In our Growing Tips section, we will teach you our very own tricks of the trade: from how to make the most out of your dirt, to which plants to plant, to how to grow your own harvest from a garden the size of a milk-crate! We will also post all of our new events and workshops, like our kitchen demonstrates (to be finished early fall), and classroom sessions. So be sure to set your calendars and join us for some “dirty” clean fun! We also have a tab especially for our home gardeners: Backyard Growers! and will post events and information that will help the creation of our own farmer’s markets. And finally, our contact page! Feel free to get in touch with us to volunteer, play in some dirt, and meet up with your neighbors.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton