The nonprofit coalition of community members, business leaders and green companies is dedicated to help make California a leader in environmental initiatives. Their goals include emissions reductions, organic farming, recycling, bio-fuels, land reclamation, water management and lifestyle change.
With regard to Brentwood’s role in the effort, coalition co-founder Jim Root said the group has been soliciting input from the community: “Through a half dozen community meetings, where we had 30 or 40 people come out, everyone thought we should have a community garden. So we took up the cause for that back in November.”
“We have a meeting scheduled with the Parks Commission on Thursday,” said Root. “We’re going to do a presentation about what the community garden will be and how we’re going to make it all happen.”
Root hopes the coalition will be able to create the community garden in one of the undeveloped park sites that lies inside the city’s boundaries. Since parks are funded by developers – and in the current economic climate, development is slow – it could be 10 to 12 years, in Root’s estimation, before those undeveloped park sites can be brought to fruition.
“Because of that,” said Root, “we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we might be able to do a community garden here in Brentwood.” Even if the city approves the community garden plan, the project will require a good deal of money. “With the preliminary development – getting the soil ready, grading and stuff like that – we’re looking at anywhere from $150,000 to $200,000,” Root said. “We’ve gotten quite a bit of corporate interest (in the project) but no specific pledges yet because we don’t have a specific location. Once we get that, we’ll be able to make a strong push for the funds that we need.
“I have a couple of farmers who are willing to help with grading and construction companies that are willing to donate their time,” he added, “which should help bring down that cost.”
According to Root, the coalition has engaged in “a number” of conversations with private property owners and the city regarding the garden’s location. It was through those conversations that one of the proposed sites, a 5-acre parcel behind Pioneer Elementary school at the corner of Empire and Grant, was selected.
In a related development, due to of the coalition’s efforts, Freedom High School has “already agreed to establish a small portion of their land for a student garden,” said Root. “Now we’re just trying to get one that will be a little bit bigger, for use by the community.
In addition to gaining a better understanding about The Green Living Coalition’s plan for a community garden in Brentwood, those celebrating Earth Day at Hannah Nicole Vineyards were able to meet suppliers of green products that included solar power and medical alternatives, all while enjoying appetizers and Hannah Nicole wine.
Those interested in joining the Green Living Coalition, or who would like more information about how helping to make the community garden a reality, are invited to visit the coalition’s website, www.thegreenlivingcoalition.com, or find the organization on Facebook.