Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Pomona Council Compost
RAIN or SHINE: This Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. is the community tour at Cal Poly Pomona's Center for Regnerative Studies. Parking and admission is free. Click on visitor information here for directions to the Center's parking lot. This will be informative and kid friendly, and if even a handful of us attend, it could be a starting point for grassroots efforts to make Pomona more green and liveable.
Thanks to Ren for creating today's visual: a re-use of the deserted gas station at Alvarado and Garey. Click on the photo to blow it up. The imaginary "Pomona Council Compost" is home to communal composting, a virtual community garden and a flyer-starved cork bulletin board. Hey that's the Goddess of Pomona van parked out front. Don't worry, I promise not to park there longer than 72 hours at a time :0 The planters may look familiar to regular readers...they've been Greenlee-ized.
Imagine how many Lincoln Park residents would get out of their cars and walk to the local Stater Bros., if there is actually a community scene at that corner. And wait, Ren will soon be creating a cyber frozen yogurt shop slash virtual coffee house in the vacant restaurant across the street.
My Pomona native friend A told me that the restaurant and gas station at Garey and Alvarado have been vacant for at least 15 years. It's been five years that I have been fantasizing about the possibilities each time I pass by. The California property boom has come and gone, yet these two vacant corners remain at one of the most visible and promising Pomona intersections.
Over the weekend, I got the chance to speak with Justin, the son of the owner of the gas station property. He explained that his father purchased the property about four years ago with the intention of opening up an auto repair shop. He said that neighbors were against the shop opening up due to noise concerns. He said that the City would not allow the shop, so the property has sat vacant. Justin said that the property is currently on the market.
I spoke to Justin about the idea of a community garden there, which would be a win-win situation -- making the property more attractive and thus more valueable. Justin was very understanding, but I got the feeling that dad would be a hard sell. Justin took my number and agreed to speak with dad about the idea. To his credit, dad can often be seen cleaning up trash from the empty lot.
Perhaps it would be more worthwhile for dad if he was offered rent money for lending his property to the community good. Maybe working with Cal Poly, we could get a grant for a sustainability project there -- obviously some project that would be safe on land that previously housed a gas station.
In any event, I hope to see you on Saturday.