Leah Beehler


Community oasis in a busy city


Transitioning from living in a coastal neighborhood to Salt Lake City has definitely been a big change. I began noticing all the community gardens that we had in the area here. I developed my story off of my main interest in these gardens and how they benefit the community and its residents. Especially while being a new resident of Salt Lake City, I wanted to get a feel for the main benefits of community gardens. 

The first step I took was choosing the main garden that I wanted to focus on. Once I came to the conclusion that I was going to focus on the Wasatch Community Gardens, the next step I took to find my sources was familiarizing myself with the website. Then, I read about what it had to offer and decided what I wanted my story to focus on. Once I had my main points chosen, I went to the Board and Staff tab on the website and mentally selected the best candidates I thought would help with my story.

I reached out to the staff members with the emails provided and asked if they would be willing to meet with me and answer some questions. Since I wanted to also write from a community standpoint, I reached out to a community member. My goal was to get a real opinion on what it is like living with and near a community garden. I feel I chose the best sources for my story because they are the most educated on my chosen topics. 

I encountered some obstacles with people not getting back to me in time. I got a lot of responses referring me to other people. However, I was then having a tough time getting responses from the references. Because of the pandemic and busy schedules, one of my interviews was held over the phone. 

In order to make sense of all the information I gathered, I created a story outline. I organized all of the quotes I wanted to use and the main points that I was making and created a story map to prepare for the writing process. I found the writing process to be very enjoyable. I learned many new things about what the garden has to offer and enjoyed getting to share that knowledge. I was surprised by how much I learned about the community garden and how much it really does for the community. 

Although the garden is very pretty and fun, that is not all it is. It helps bring jobs to people in need and offers free pick zones to help feed the residents with organic and healthy produce. The Wasatch Community Gardens really does a lot of good and cares deeply about its community and what it grows. 


My name is Leah Beehler and I am currently a full time student at the University of Utah working to earn a degree in Communication. My passion for writing and reading began in high school and my English courses. Throughout my high school years I was involved in a full-time, strenuous sport which taught me time management and how to be dependable. I have now integrated those skills in my journalism. Through my honesty, excitement, and drive I aspire to be accurate and respectful with my writing. 

In my free time, I enjoy sitting and reading a good book, going for walks, and spending time with my family. I also love to travel and experience new cultures and lifestyles. My lifetime and family experiences drive my curiosity in people and their stories.