Hanford City Council, do not sell our valued Park Land to developers.
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Hanford City Council, choose now to build a better future for our community. Stop voting to sell our park land to build more houses.
There is a 40 acre park in the middle of town. When the City acquired this land 40 years ago, and their planning consultant, and Hanford resident, Robert Grunwald, brought to them his dream of rolling hills of grass and trees, the City said they didn’t have the money for such an endeavor. It was the City Council at the time that suggested community involvement might cut costs. And so, because the community picked up their shovels, constructing the stage of ubiquitous laughter for children they would never meet, we have a jewel, Hidden Valley Park.
Half of the plan was completed, and the other half, the 18 acres just west of the park we know, has lain bare ever since. In the 35 years since the debut of the completed half, with each newly elected City Council, their desire to sell the land to development resurfaces. And each time it does, every 5 or 6 years, the community shows up and reminds them they want their park land to remain safe. For the last 35 years, this has been enough.
On March 7th, the Hanford City Council ignored the public comments they’d just heard, and voted to list the 18 acres of undeveloped park as surplus.
On April 18th, the Hanford City Council will vote on accepting the new General Plan Update, which has the 18 acres rezoned from “Public Facilities” to “Low-Density Residential”, one step closer to selling to development.
Urge our elected City Officials to reverse their current course regarding the land our community has consistently told them is to remain a public space.
Should they not do so on the 18th, this petition will continue for as long as necessary.
Here’s my plan:
Earth Overshoot Day is the date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year.
1987 December 19
1990 December 7
1995 November 21
2000 November 1
2005 October 20
2016 August 8
Kings County is in the center of the Central Valley, AG capitol of the world. California has the 6th largest economy in the world, because of our agriculture industry. We feed the world.
Centrally located, we are ideally placed to set an example.
Permaculture is "the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.". That goal of sufficiency is helped along by practicing rain harvesting/ directing that water with purpose.
When planting, you emulate the forest, facilitating naturally occurring ecosystems. You mimic everything from canopy trees, to shrubbery, and the mulch on the ground, allowing plants to work together to maintain the health of the soil, and attract wildlife; birds, bees, squirrels.
Because we'll have these ecosystems in abundance park-wide, there is plenty opportunity for trails both beautiful, and informative; highlighting indigenous plants, animals, teaching visitors how to properly harvest fruit and veggies while they walk the trails.
We have the sketch of the original park, which spanned the full 38.8 acres. We combine the original plan with this new vision for the future, and we expand on an already unique, and exciting asset of our community.
The kicker here is my plan to integrate this into our local schools.
Farm Academy Live is a local virtual-education platform that has consistently landed in the top 20 in the country since 2009. They satellite into classrooms around the world with video-conferencing technology, and educate children about agriculture, and its importance. They send tactile aids, like cotton, milk, to give the students something to touch and feel.
We take a page from their book, maybe work with them if they're willing, and we teach our local schools about permaculture gardening, with the tactile aids of raised-bed planters.. They learn about earth sciences, biology, and they help a living plant to grow.. then come the end of the planting season, they take a fieldtrip to the park, and plant their little plant into the greater whole, seeing how it fits into the world.. how their bit is integral to the cohesiveness of life.
The program will grow with the first class of students to allow for increasing complexity, so by the time these first students reach high school, and know the food forest like the back of their hands, they'll be learning advanced biology, chemistry, and beyond. There's also opportunity for applied economics lessons, and business management, should we build a year-round produce market downtown, and let the students run it, even maintain supply agreements with downtown restaurants, and door delivery services. And all the money raised going back into the program, allows the eldest students to manage the engine that funds the program for their younger classmates. It is potentially a program that can give our children a better footing in all areas of life, and pay for itself ten times over.
In all this they are learning to grow their own food, and on occasion their lessons are instead, "Do It Yourself" workshops, where they learn how to make their own soap and the like, giving students a break from routine, and making them more self-reliant in a world less so each day.
The Central Valley feeds the world. Let’s give our children the tools to revolutionize how it’s done.
Hanford City Council, choose now to build a better future for our community, and the world we feed; stop voting to sell our park land to build more houses.
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