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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Meanwhile in Graton - September 2011

A Vision for Graton
It’s the year 2014.  After a trip to the post office, you’ll meet a friend in Graton Park across the street.  You will plan to return to the park for music night.  On your way home, you’ll stop at the new Spiral Foods Co-op on Bowen Street for some locally grown organic produce.
Tomorrow, you might call over to Centro Laboral de Graton for some help in the garden, or take a walk along Spiral Foods Creek Path.  Or, take the children to story hour in Graton Park. 

Graton Day will be held in the park.  (Gone are the days when the only way to hold a large community event was to block off the streets.) 

You frequently find yourself joining community events and shopping in Graton.  You don’t drive to Sebastopol or Santa Rosa so much anymore so you’re saving a lot of gasoline and traffic hassles.

How Do We Get There?
Okay, back to 2011.  We get there by taking advantage of this economic lull in business as usual.  Remember 2007 when every scrap of land was pounced on by developers?  That’s not the case today which is giving the Graton community the opportunity to create community space in Graton.

So, how does a community create a park, support a food co-op and a labor center?  By investing in your future. 

Investing in Park Shares
Let’s talk about the park first. The Graton Fire Protection District Board of Directors will likely put the old fire house site up for sale before the end of the year, giving us only a few months to raise the funds to purchase the site for a community park. 

The Graton Green Group, a non-profit, provides the framework for the community to create a park by offering Park Shares.  By pledging to give $5, $10 or more a month, you will be buying a share in the park that gives you a dividend every time you go there and each dollar you donate is tax deductible! 

A local architect is asking to purchase the old firehouse site for $405,000.  The community has to raise close to that amount to be in adequate competition to acquire the property.

If only 1/3 of the 1,000 homes in the area purchase a $10/month Park Share, that’s about $40,000 per year.  With a lease/option to buy the property with a five-year payout, at the end of five years, the home dwellers will have paid almost $200,000 toward the purchase of the park.  With the support of local business and wineries bringing in the rest, we will be proud park owners. 

How much does $10 a month mean to you?  Giving up a couple of lattes or a bottle of wine per month?  Isn’t that a good exchange for dancing/classes/movies/music/theater/parties/art in the park?

Please call Aaron Smith at 478-1502 if you have questions or suggestions or if you will gather pledges for Park Shares. 

Is the Old Fire House Site Safe for a Park?
In September, the equipment and wells to monitor and remediate ground contamination at the old firehouse site will be removed.  The California Regional Water Quality Control Board has agreed that no further action is required. At their August board meeting, President Bob Maddocks of the Graton Fire Protection District asked if the site is safe for a children’s playground and was told it is and that putting a park on the site would be an excellent use of the site.

Spiral Foods Coop In Graton
Here’s how we support a food coop that provides locally grown foods: From Founder Tucker Hemquist,  “After a year of organizing, Spiral Foods Cooperative is legally incorporated and ready to start our initial membership drive. This is your chance to be an owner and play an integral part in the foundation of your coop, granting voting privileges and participatory influence over the direction of the coop.” 

To invest in your park and your food future, Look for the Graton Green Group and Spiral Foods booths at Graton Day, September 24th!  Centro Laboral will be supporting Graton Day and accepting investments in their future as well! 

Catherine Sagan’s Farewell Vision
Catherine Sagan, a staunch community supporter addressed her family and friends at a farewell potluck this August with her vision of us all working together for Graton.  Catherine left Graton to work for two years in Guatemala with a training program for native midwives.  We all wish Catherine well and look forward to her return.                 

New Shop in Graton!
Global Village has come to Graton!  Located at the corner of Ross and Graton Roads (across the street from the future park!) Global Village offers a new world of shopping for Graton residents and visitors.  (Ladies, I think we’re in trouble.)

Graton Day 2011
This year's Gradon Day on September 24th will feature a parade, pet parade (contact Carol Shirrell at 829-2801), costumed dancers from the Labor Center, food vendors (contact Catherine Sharp at 829-3818), kids' activities featuring a water slide, bands, dancing and a pie contest. Festivities will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Graton Fire Protection District New Firehouse Open House
The GFPD will showcase their new digs to the public September 11 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. with an open house and dedication.  Having had a preview peak, I can say that the firehouse is something to be very proud of, the achievement of a 30-year effort.  Congratulations to the GFPD Board and the volunteers for an amazing accomplishment. 

Graton Community Club Fall Flower Show
Students!  You did such a fantastic job of helping the Graton Community Club decorate for the spring flower show, that the club is asking you to help again!  Please make a picture in the theme of “Mischief and Moonshine” for the fall flower show and give it to your teacher!  Then, come to see your art at the Graton Community Club House show October 21st and 22nd!  Call Kali Link at 824-4895 for more information.