Village Building Convergence story presented at August Grange meeting

Work day at the Grange

Sebastian Collet shared the story of the VBC with a slide presentation at our August Potluck meeting. Here are highlights from his presentation:

Village Building Convergence came to Sebastopol in 2014

Sebastian was initially involved with Village Building Convergence from Portland, Oregon. It began with the idea of dreaming up the best possible future for our children in our own neighborhoods. Building Resiliency through relationship with neighborhood projects.

For example, intersections can be repainted and symbolically taken over through “City Repair”. Informational Kiosks can be built. Community Gardens can be planted. These are all forms of intersection repair. The projects become a feature that then ripples out as people come together and create more gathering spaces, beautify more areas, and develop the creation of community.

Spring 2014 was the first Sebastopol Village Building Convergence event. The central gathering place for the 10-day event was our very own Sebastopol Grange Hall. There were many community/neighborhood projects scattered throughout town, some even into Petaluma & Santa Rosa. In the Barlow area, 400 showed up for the first painting on McKinley Street. Sebastopol Citizens and visitors to the area were able to beautify our town, and meet neighbors and folks in a casual way.

In Fall 2016 another 10-day event full of great speakers, music, and projects. Again our Sebastopol Grange was the central meeting place where presentations, music and meals were had.

On Earth Day 2017, The VBC focused on beautifying the Grange Hall by planting the front of the Grange in collaboration with Daily Acts. Over 100 people gathered to plant a bee-friendly, drought tolerant landscape. It was a great day!

Earth Day 2018- The VBC partnered again with the Sebastopol Grange and Daily Acts to work again on the Grange landscape, continuing to add dirt to Kids Mountain, replant the front area closest to the building, and to check on existing plants in the front Highway zone. Over 80 people showed up to offer hands and hearts.

VBCVBC plans for this year!

October 18-21st, 2018: Mark Lakeman will be speaking at the Grange on Friday, Oct.19. Mark started the initial VBC movement up in Portland, OR. He is an inspiring activist, builder, artist, friend to many, all around great human. Sebastopol Grange VBC Project ideas will be finalized at the September Business meeting (9/18/18) before the October event. One possibility is to finish Kid Mountain.

There are ideas to continue to enhance the Grange yard—drainage and grading needs to be addressed. People are concerned about maintenance required on anything that is planted. Ongoing discussions will be held with the Grange Landscape Committee. Contact Sebastian Collet for further questions or ideas. SebastianCollet@gmail.com

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Be Fire Safe: Emergency Preparedness

Mill Valley Fire Battalion Chief Mike St. John tells us how to prepare for an emergency and evacuation, especially when living in a suburban/wildland interface area. His points are relevant for many areas of California and beyond. For more info: http://cityofmillvalley.org/fire
A film by Kristi Denton Cohen for https://stayormove.org

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Also, CalFire provides tips on how to put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.
Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit.

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Grangers and friends honor Gary Abreim

Grangers and friends celebrated the birthday of our dear friend and valued treasurer Gary Abreim at our June potluck, in his eighth year of service to our Grange. With a golden robe and clown nose, he was honored with trophies, tokens, songs, a poem and more! A scholarship in his name was made to his beloved Camp Winnarainbow, Wavy Gravy’s circus and performing arts camp for all ages. We love you, Gary – Happy Birthday!

Gary Abreim Gary Abreim Gary Abreim Gary Abreim Gary Abreim Gary Abreim Gary Abreim Gary Abreim Gary Abreim

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Wed., June 6: After the Fires: Reflections from the Farm hosted by The Farmers Guild and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)

Sprouting after a fireMore than 6 months after the most destructive fires in California history, the agricultural community of the North Bay is back to work, busy in the field growing our food. But last year’s disaster remains with us not only in the outline of neighborhoods lost and charred hillsides, but also in memories and tough lessons learned.

Knowing that October’s fires will not be the last disaster to hit rural communities in California, we at the Farmers Guild and Community Alliance with Family Farmers are asking: what can we learn from that experience to better prepare farmers for future catastrophe? What worked during our response? What could have been done differently?

This interactive evening will solicit feedback from anyone involved in the response and recovery efforts–whether farmers, ranchers or those assisting them–feedback that will help guide our organization in developing tools, templates and programs to provide farm communities around the state to promote local resilience in the face of fire, flood, earthquake or the many unknowns that lie ahead.

6-9pm at the Sebastopol Grange.

Find the event on Facebook,

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Granger Ariel Scholten wins youth leadership award

Ariel ScholtenSebastopol Grange’s own Ariel Scholten was one of ten Sonoma County high school seniors honored last week for their leadership and civic contributions at the 30th annual Community Youth Service Awards.

Sponsored by The Press Democrat and Oliver’s Market, the event recognizes students with deep volunteer commitments. Winners, who each received $1,000, were chosen from 126 nominees from 20 schools.

Ariel is president of the Sebastopol FFA and the FFA Sonoma Section, which represents nine chapters, including the one she heads in Sebastopol. She’s an officer at Analy’s California Scholarship Federation club, as well as an officer at the Sebastopol Grange. She has worked with the School Garden Network of Sonoma County and Sonoma County Farm Trails.
Read more about Ariel and the awards in the Sonoma Index-Tribune.

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Join us on EARTH DAY, April 22nd, at the Grange!

Grange Hall

The Sebastopol Grange, the Village Builders, and Daily Acts are converging again this Spring on EARTH DAY, to transform the land at our local community hub into landscaping that is more like the Grange community itself…productive, purposeful, and a source of pride.

We will be focusing on the area outside of the front doors of the building. In addition to planting and mulching, we will be building new benches underneath the front awning.

There will be friends, snacks, music, and libations to enliven our bodies and our hearts while we give back to this beloved community center, our native pollinators, and the Earth.

The Grange will provide snacks and REVIVE will provide Kombucha. We also invite you to bring a POTLUCK dish for sharing.

We will sheet mulch, plant, and install drip irrigation, so if you have them, bring shovels, hand tools, pruners, and/or box cutters with your name on them.

This is a kid-friendly event.

When: Sunday, April 22nd | 10am-1pm
Where: Sebastopol Grange Hall, 6000 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol, CA
Cost: Free

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Look at how the Grange celebrated Women’s History Month!

dinner Womens March Flash Mob Dance Laguna Farm

After a delicious potluck dinner, Grangers and friends watched the powerful and inspiring 30-minute film WOMEN’S MARCH: a documentary about democracy and human rights, and ONE BILLION RISING (video clip of our local V-Day Flash Mob Celebration!). Then we watched, and took part in, a performance of that inspiring dance.
Jennifer of Laguna Farm, our Featured Farmer at last night’s Grange event and potluck, for the delicious salad, roasted root vegetables and gorgeous, sauteed beet tops we enjoyed with our meal. Shepherd Bliss was awarded a CSA box of goodies.

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“Raise the Roof” Community Potluck: Building Solidarity for Renters

Build solidarity for renters! Everyone is welcome! Join us for good food, music, story sharing and a brief overview of the work being done throughout the county to support tenant protections and affordable housing development. Join us to fight against displacement and gentrification while giving voice to renters and advocating for policies and ordinances that can protect our cherished diversity. Learn more.
Tenants rights event

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Join us, Grangers & Friends, to be in the Apple Blossom Parade on April 21!

The Sebastopol Grange is once again strolling in the Apple Blossom Parade on April 21 at 10am. Our “float” will feature Grangers and like-minded organizations that support community, food and farming. Our theme will be pollinators helping to sustain community. Our slogan: “We say, We are the future we want to Bee!”

Grangers and friends are invited to march in the parade wearing bee outfits or antennaes.

Our line-up spot for the parade is Division 3, #24. The parade starts at 10 but being in division 3 we don’t get marching for a while. They always try to get people lined up before the parade starts. Most people walk in to the line-up by Analy HS near the tennis courts (if there someone that can’t walk that far they can contact me at 707-484-5703 since I will have 2 passes for our group). Main Street closes to cars at least 30 min or more before the parade starts. Peter will be bringing the extra bee antenna and he and Cindy will have some signs for folks to carry. We will also have our Grange banner.

If you need to contact someone at the parade, call Dena on her cell phone at 707-484-5703.

Apple Blossom

 

 

–Dena Allen

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Women’s History Month celebration on March 27 will feature WOMEN’S MARCH film

Womens March Film

Please join the Sebastopol Grange as we Celebrate Women’s History Month
at our Community Potluck on Tuesday, March 27.

We will be screening the powerful and inspiring 30 minute film WOMEN’S MARCH: a documentary about democracy and human rights, and ONE BILLION RISING (video clip of our local V-Day Flash Mob Celebration!)

Tuesday, March 27

EVERYONE is welcome!
6pm: potluck.
6:50pm: Rise up Flash Mob dance. (Join in! Learn how here.)
7 pm: WOMEN’S MARCH film and video of our local ONE BILLION RISING Flash Mob V-DAY celebration.
8pm: Discussion and next steps.

WOMEN’S MARCH is a story about democracy, human rights, and what it means to stand up for your values in America today. On January 21, 2017, hundreds of thousands of women marched on Washington, DC. That same day, hundreds of sister marches took place across the country and around the world.
Shot on location in five U.S. cities including Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Oakland, Boston and Washington, DC., the film explores several women’s motivation to march. For some people, it was their first time marching. For others, it was the continuation of a decades-long fight for human rights, dignity, and justice. For all, it was an opportunity to make their voices heard. It grew into the largest one-day protest in American history. Post-production manager Nicolai Crane and producer Iliani Matisse will join us.

We will also be screening the short, sweet, powerful video of our 2013 local ONE BILLION RISING Flash Mob action. You’ll recognize the faces and perhaps one is Yours!

Lastly, Linda Herman from Rock the Congress will be there to ask and answer questions about what WE can do to create positive and lasting change.

Representatives from Rock the Congress, Sister District, Swing Left and Indivisible will offer their inspiration for what WE can do to create positive and lasting change.

This event is FREE but DONATIONS of any amount are WELCOME.

If you are joining us for dinner, please arrive no later than 6pm and bring a dish to share.
Please carpool if possible.

Also, Grangers and friends who want to join us in the Apple Blossom Parade on April 21 are invited to stop by the art table to make antennae to wear. Bring a cap or sunglasses.

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