Thursday, January 28, 2010

727 Dameron Drive Update
Winter 2010


I’m back from travels and taken time to reflect on the 727 Dameron Drive project, where it came from, and where I am going with it.

As the project nears a completion point, I am doing a lot of soul searching, and planning another project.

To put this project in perspective of what we accomplished and what we can do, I wrote this short list.

· We started with an overgrown property in 2006. The idea was to build a community space, permaculture site, and an example of urban agriculture—that’s exactly what we did.
· We recycled an 80 year old house
· Built compost bins, soil, and a solar shower
· Built gardens and grow food
· Brought in chickens, and have eggs and meat
· Built a cottage, a kiln, and acquired lots of tools
· We built an addition, bedroom, and bathroom
· Fencing, a chicken coop, and an animal run
· We built gardens on my neighbor’s property
· Helped lots children, students, and others
· We provided tours, community dinners, and made this place open to all
· We removed the balance of the 80 year old house and made room for more growing
· We worked with the City, friends, and family to complete this wonderful project
· We also built a lot of wonderful relationships

3 more Projects:
1. We are completing a workshop and tool shed
2. Planning an entryway made of granite stones from the foundation of the original house.
3. We are repairing and putting a new face on the outside living area or as I still call it, The Carport.

· I am working on a new nonprofit start up project called Skull Valley Gardens, located 15 miles down from Prescott in Skull Valley, AZ.

Three things I am interested in:
1. hearing people’s thoughts, ideas, and input on the project
2. someone interested in grant writing
3. someone to manage the 727 Dameron Drive property as I move on

Please understand this new project and notes are in the preliminary stages. I am writing a business plan, collecting data, and nothing is set in stone.

The Idea:
Skull Valley Gardens aims to meet the needs of children and students in Yavapai County learn about self-worth, personal growth and the benefits of sustainable living by expanding the 727 Dameron Drive project to a 30 acre property in Skull Valley, AZ.

The need for social change and personal development is clear and present. Delivering an educational experience is necessary to shape and develop new thoughts and ideas.

Less money is being allocated to support services at the governmental level and in private industry. More and more families can not afford to pay for private services that help their children. This is why we need more organizations focused on children to help them develop. It is imperative in these times of limiting resources and economic times.

This experience enables the student to develop healthy relationships and fosters a desire to learn about them. Students come to learn they can make a difference.

Key elements include: a learning space that teaches children and students of all ages that they too can make a difference in their lives and in the lives of others. Activities include: growing organic food, raising animals, composting, recycling, water-conservation, enjoying a higher quality of life and having fun.

· “My vision is to reach children through a learning experience that will positively influence and potentially change their lives and the lives of many; in doing so, create social change through subsistence farming and show children that they are part of this change.”
· To aide in the development of new ideas and ways of living through an educational experience including growing food, raising animals, and enjoying the qualities of sustainability…to positively influence and potentially change the lives on many; in doing so, create a social change and show children that they are part of this change.

Our Mission:
· “to help children find their way”

· I am in the process of writing the second draft of the nonprofit business plan. Next, I will send it out to a few friends and professionals for comment. If the project feels feasible, I will go ahead and secure the property, create the organization, file the federal and state paperwork and look for grant money to expand the project.

· To help children
· To grow food, raise animals, and live sustainably
· To fulfill a lifetime goal to give back part of the wonderful experience I have received.

· A lifetime commitment on my part
· Passionate people to help
· Close friends
· Family
· Skilled labor, and
· Lots of money