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Los Angele's South Central Farm: Help us find the funding

  • Subject: [cg] Los Angele's South Central Farm: Help us find the funding
  • From: David King learninggardenmaster@yahoo.com
  • Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 22:09:08 -0800 (PST)

--- southcentralfarmers@electrolandia.com wrote:

> To: <southcentralfarmers@electrolandia.com>
> Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 22:28:10 +0000
> From: southcentralfarmers@electrolandia.com
> Subject: [SCFs] Help us find the funding
> The Los Angeles South Central Community Farm
> A unique opportunity at a critical time
> As the Mayor announced on Feb 8 2006, we must step
> up and find the funding to buy the farm! (see the
> following: http://www.southcentralfarmers.com)
> We need all of you to reach deep and find donors,
> foundations, and philanthropist that can be touched
> by this issue and can make sizeable contributions of
> the size of 500K and 1M.  The Mayor has stated that
> we need to raise 15-16 Million in a very short time
> before Horowitz evicts the South Central Farmers.
> Please contact:
> Fernando Flores (909) 605-3136
> Email: southcentralfarmers@yahoo.com
> The South Central Community Farm is located at the
> corner of 41st and Alameda in the vicinity of the
> tiny hamlet of Vernon and Watts in South Central
> Los Angeles. This neighborhood is severely deficient
> in park, recreational and community garden space.
> The Farm provides a too rare natural respite to the
> low-income families who live in this highly
> urbanized and semi-industrial neighborhood and
> serves as a hub of community, cultural and family
> activities.  Most importantly, the South Central
> Farm is providing healthy, homegrown food to the
> families of the more than 360 farmers at the site
> and serves as a cultural and spiritual center built
> from a sense of place that only a relationship to
> the land can support. 
> There recently has been significant media and social
> scientific attention focused on the diverse
> multiethnic community at South Central Farm and the
> unique cultural and ecological landscape they have
> created over the past 13 years. The farmers are in
> danger of being evicted.  This would involve the
> destruction of an agro-ecological treasure to make
> way for more industrial warehouses. 
> The 14-acre site is privately owned and is currently
> threatened with an imminent sale and development. 
> There presently exists an opportunity to purchase
> this site and develop the existing community garden
> into a multi cultural venue for healthy living,
> featuring cultural, nutritional and environmental
> education, managed community gardening and active
> and passive recreation.  Opportunities to acquire
> and use such a large site for open space and
> neighborhood benefit in the middle of the city are
> very rare.  Additionally, there is significant
> existing social, cultural, and natural capital
> resulting from the grassroots initiation of the
> organization of the community garden, and the long
> struggle to preserve the garden against a variety of
> forces.
> There exists, at the Farm, significant spiritual and
> personal investment from many parties, and within
> the broader Los Angeles community, exceptional
> attention and support. The collective achievements
> of the individual farmers, the grassroots
> organizers, the community organizations involved in
> creating and sustaining the Farm can now be
> galvanized with the desires of the political,
> business and philanthropic leaders to create an
> emblematic project that sets a new standard for the
> meaning of community and neighborhood. 
> Additionally, the Farm can serve as a new paradigm
> for the greening of Los Angeles, literally
> creating new ground for urban land use policy and
> planning that achieves sustainable, healthy, and
> culturally intact communities growing from a
> public/private partnership and community planning
> process. 
> The neighborhood surrounding the South LA Farm is a
> low-income community with nearly 40% of families in
> the immediate census tract falling below the poverty
> level.  Over 88% of the population is Latino and 11%
> African-American. There is a high percentage of
> young people in the community, with 43% of the
> population under the age of 19. Approximately 65% of
> the housing is renter-occupied.  The immediate
> neighborhood of the project is underserved, with no
> other community gardens, safe outdoor gathering
> places, or green spaces for families and children.  
> The Immediate Opportunity
> The a neutral third party, is working to arrange a
> purchase of the property and subsequent transfer to
> a non-profit organization (accountable to the
> community of farmers), to preserve the spirit of the
> community garden, while adding amenities and
> programs that capture the many opportunities
> presented by the 14 acre site and most importantly,
> meet the needs of the community residing in the
> surrounding neighborhoods.  This will likely involve
> a participatory community-based planning and design
> process resulting in a multiple use plan
> incorporating farming, environmental education, the
> provision of recreational and cultural amenities,
> and a program for long-term local stewardship for
> the responsible and responsive management of the
> Farm and respecting environmental justice principles
> that call for ecological democracy[DGP1] . 
> Regional Importance
> More than 1.5 million, or nearly two-thirds of all
> children in Los Angeles County, do not live within
> walking distance of a park, playground, or other
> safe place to play or engage with the land. Of the
> seven largest cities in the United States, Los
> Angeles offers its children and their families the
> least access to parks and open space. This problem
> is most severe in the neighborhoods of South LA. 
> Parks, open space and community gardens are not a
> luxury; they are a necessity. Children and families
> need these resources; neighborhoods and cities
> require these resources for healthy communities. 
> Exercise and nutrition is the most effective way to
> address the growing obesity crisis among children.
> Studies show that access to parks encourages
> exercise. Ironically, obesity related illnesses like
> diabetes; hypertension and heart disease are more
> prevalent among Hispanic and Black children, the
> same communities with the worse access to parks,
> open space and community gardens in Los Angeles
> County.     
> Action
> Time is of the essence in capturing this rare
> opportunity that serves so many aspects of creating
> a more livable city in Los Angeles. Exceptional
> leadership and vision has been shown by a large,
> highly regarded foundation with a lead gift towards
> the purchase of the property (approximately 50% of
> the total needed). 
> Significant investment from additional foundations,
> corporations, and individuals is immediately
> required to complete the purchase of the property,
> develop the management plan through a participatory
> community-based process to achieve sustainability
> and advance social justice.  While negotiations and
> details of this transaction must remain
> confidential, when completed, there will be
> significant media attention and immeasurably
> positive regard for the angel philanthropists and
> business and political leadership who pull this off.
> For more information, please contact:
> Fernando Flores (909) 605-3136
> Email: southcentralfarmers@yahoo.com
> Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger!
> Download today it's FREE!
> Southcentralfarmers mailing list
> Southcentralfarmers@electrolandia.com

David King, Garden Master
  The Learning Garden   
  office  310.722.3656 

 A garden, where one may enter in and forget the whole world, 
 cannot be made in a week, nor a month, nor a year; it must
 be planned for, waited for and loved into being.

 Chinese Proverb

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