By leaps, bounds, and occasionally inches, Mira Vista United Church of Christ continues on our path toward creating our new church home, community café, and organic plant nursery with our partner Planting Justice at the site of the former Adachi nursery in El Sobrante.
Through the amazing work of our project manager Colleen Rodger and architect Darrel DeBoer, we submitted our first round of materials to the planning department for Contra Costa County on May 13th. We also had a meeting with the chief planner and Supervisor John Gioia on Tuesday, May 28th to discuss the land use permit process that we must undergo. Sadly, this process will likely take three to four months at best, so we have to assume that we will not be able to move to our new property at 5166 Sobrante Avenue before March of next year.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, June 1 we had our second community event and around 200 folks showed up for a day of upcycling, recycling, cleaning out, and cleaning up the property. The Greater Richmond Garden Club showed up in force to weed, prune, and sheet mulch the landscape, plus they even hosted our first small crop swap! As local gardens begin to produce over the summer, we look forward to this part of our work growing exponentially.
We also received terrific help from Marvin Gardens Real Estate and from UCC friends from Arlington, Sycamore, and First Church, Berkeley plus a lot of Planting Justice and Mira Vista members and friends. And, of course, we had so many new friends and neighbors from the El Sobrante community come to see what is happening and as Colleen observed, “this time they didn’t just show up, they came to work.” It was truly moving to feel the support of the community for this project.
While the weed whacking continued, we opened up the building so that folks could “upcycle” the display cases, shelves, and other things left in the building for use in their own projects. This event was a living demonstration of how to avoid unnecessary waste in our landfills. We still have some large safes and other items such as desks, filing cabinets, and large display cases that need homes, but we’re on our way!
We also provided fun, food, and community in the parking lot by having a jump house for kids and a taco truck. Now that we know the process of permitting and then construction is going to take a long time, we will be hosting Work + Fun Community Days on the last Saturday of each month from 10a-3p so we can keep living into our vision, and continue to make progress in preparing the property. For more information, check out: miravistaucc.org, plantingjustice.org, or like our Facebook page for The Good Table.