Twenty years later, this dream is coming to fruition. The meadow that once was home to golfers and polo players will provide a permanent place where men and women experiencing homelessness can grow, create, and prosper.
Homeless Garden Projects’ Permanent Farm at Pogonip The City Council approved the Pogonip Master Plan which designated a nine acre plot of fertile land for the Homeless Garden Project.
The city voted yes to the second option.
The city created a nine-member task force to consider options. At the first meeting, sports enthusiasts, nature lovers, equestrians and hikers all presented their dreams. By the following year the task force had whittled the options down to three: Leave Pogonip as is Allow multiple uses including hiking and horse trails, a museum, a club, and notably, a garden tended by individuals experiencing homelessness The…
When the golf club failed in the 1930’s depression, the Women’s Polo Club took over. Women (and some men) played polo in the Pogonip meadows up until World War II. Pogonip continued for more than 40 years as a social club with tennis replacing polo as the club sport.
In 1987, the rustic clubhouse was condemned, and, two years later the City of Santa Cruz bought Pogonip with the help of a state park bond. Once the city owned the land, the question became: what should they do with it? Years went by as the City looked for answers.
In the twentieth century, Pogonip became a playground for Santa Cruz society. It was the site of the first 18-hole golf course in the county.
Pogonip is 640 acres of meadows, woodlands, and streams now owned by the City of Santa Cruz. Once, the Ohlone People gathered in its meadows. Later, in the Mexican era, it became part of a 5000-acre rancho. In the nineteenth century, its kilns, quarries, and woodlands provided lime and lumber to build California cities.