Thursday, January 27, 2011

Volunteer this Saturday (1/29) to help the build a Community Garden at MLK Rail Station

Sustainable Food Center is creating its headquarters, which will include a new program center and community and teaching gardens, at the new MLK MetroRail Station near MLK and Airport. Our headquarters and the gardens will be part of a new "nonprofit village" to include PeopleFund, Theater Action Project, and SFC, and a neighborhood park, to include a skate park, a new stretch of hike and bike trail, and more. This is a truly exciting project for us, and the community and teaching gardens will be the first element of SFC's portion to be created. Since the community garden will truly belong to the community (residents, organizations, and institutions in surrounding neighborhoods), we are looking for involvement and help spreading the word from you!

Last June, the MLK garden design team and SFC hosted an open house and community discussion where we received valuable input about how the garden should be designed and used. Over the past several months, we've been hard at work integrating this input into a design that fits the landscape and incorporates desired programmatic elements, but still leaves room for flexibility and community input. We're now ready to enter the land preparation stage—this means clearing unwanted brush, amending the soil, planting cover crops, and more—and we wanted to invite you all to be involved in the process.

Want to get involved, and want a sneak preview of the garden site? On Saturday, January 29th, from 9 am - 1 pm, we’ll be hosting the first of a series of volunteer workdays to clear the community garden site of brush and prepare it for sheet composting, which will be used to enrich the existing soil in preparation for planting (our goal for a first planting for the garden is the spring of 2012). You are cordially invited to lend a hand, and we’d be much obliged if you could help us spread the word and recruit helpers (who might eventually become community gardeners) for this, and future, workdays!

If you would like to lend a hand on the 29th, or if you can't make it, but would like more information about this project, please contact Sari at sari [AT] Please RSVP if you plan to attend, since we have more details for you, and since this way we’ll know how many people to expect. Please bring gloves and wear long pants and closed-toed shoes, as there is scrubby brush and some poison ivy at this site.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Monthly CANA Meeting (2/19)

Our next monthly neighborhood meeting is Saturday (2/19) at 10am at the New Hope Baptist Church. Please attend. More info on the agenda as the date approaches.

Join the Chestnut Neighborhood Revitalization Corporation Board and Help Plan the Neighborhood

The Chestnut Neighborhood Revitalization Corporation (CNRC) is seeking nominations for new board members. The CNRC was formed to implement several key areas of the Chestnut Neighborhood Plan completed in the late 1990s. Our primary focus is on creating and sustaining affordable housing. We have built several single family homes, and just completed a 22-unit senior affordable housing project (corner of MLK and EM Franklin). We are now focused on our next projects, and hope to have a strategic planning retreat in March to develop a clear focus for our 2011-2012 plan of work.

CNRC meets once per month (3rd Tuesday of every month from 6-7pm), and then have subcommittees who meet outside the regular board meetings to focus on specific initiatives such as land aquisition, small business creation, and fundraising. We have one staff person who we contract with, but we rely heavily on board participation. We have three positions open on our board, and are seeking individuals who want to make an impact on the Chestnut neighborhood. If you are looking to just show up once a month and put this on your resume...then this opportunity is not for you. If you are looking to be active and impactful, engage others in the neighborhood, and bring your creative ideas then we want to hear from you.

We also need to have a diverse board of residents and business owners, consisting of varying ethnic backgrounds and income levels. If you are interested or know someone who is, please send an email stating your interests and qualifications/backgroun to the CNRC board President, Sean Garretson at sean [@]

Please submit your interests by February 4, 2011 and mark your calendar to attend our next board meeting on February 15th.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Local Grocery Store Collective Wants Your Input...

My name is Nicholas Arthur, and I am writing you as a current member of a small collective that is working hard to start a worker-owned neighborhood grocery and general store on the east side. We are calling it, Foundation Foods Grocery and General Store.

We are currently in the start-up/research stage of the project piecing together a business plan and conducting a feasibility study. We are contacting you and your neighbors to see if you would be interested in sharing with us your opinions/ideas/concerns, and helping us develop a place that is truly a creation of the community. We have composed a brief presentation and we would love the opportunity to share it at your next meeting. We have also put together a survey to distribute either online or on good old pencil and paper. Our goal is for this future establishment to be more than just a grocery store. It will be a place where people come together for the love of food and the love of life. It will be an active and vibrant community center and a launch pad for projects and ideas.

We feel that when it comes to fresh food, East Austin has been neglected in recent years. It is high time there was a grocery store that offered a selection of food that promotes and encourages a healthy, happy lifestyle. It is vital to our mission that Foundation Foods will, in the long run, be shaped and operated by many people, and tightly woven into the community that it will be serving.

In order to accomplish this we are looking to develop relationships now, in the early phases of this project, and we need to hear your voice.

I have included our mission statement below, and attached a copy of our one pager and survey for your review. Also link to the online version of our survey here: english:

Thank You,
Nicholas Arthur
Foundation Foods
Grocery and General Store
A worker-owned cooperative

Quartly Chestnut Planning and Contact Team - This Saturday (1/15)

After our normal CANA meeting, we will hold our quarterly Chestnut Neighborhood Planning and Contact Team (NPCT) meeting. We will discuss neighborhood zoning and board of adjustment cases. Please stay after the CANA meeting to learn more...

January CANA Meeting - Saturday 1/15

Our monthly neighborhood meeting is this Saturday (1/15) at 10am at the New Hope Baptist Church. We will be discussing the upcoming newsletters, permanent supportive housing on 12th street, and more.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Austin Chronicle Article about 12th Street and our Neighborhood

Follow the link to a December 17th article in the Austin Chronicle about our neighborhood and permanent supportive housing.