Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Char Miller

Reader 2

Nancy Neiman Auerbach

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Rights Information

© 2016 Jennifer E. Reyff


This thesis provides an analytical case study of Huerta del Valle Community Garden as a successful model of redefining social capital through not only providing healthy, affordable, high quality produce to a community subjected to the disproportionate consequences of systemic inequality, but also in incorporating a food justice education framework to underlie all development at the garden. Located in the city of Ontario, Southern California – the heart of the Inland Empire, known for its prominence within the nation’s goods movement industry and its landscape of sprawling warehouses – local residents face high rates of poverty, obesity, and a lack of food access. This research identifies the socio-economic, historical factors that led to Ontario as we know it today. I argue that Ontario was founded upon institutionally racist principles, which set the region up for a future of economic disparity. It is through ‘bottom-up,’ grassroots community organizing that deeply engrained structural barriers are most successfully challenged.