With the intention of strengthening businesses in our community Pacoima Beautiful along with the Liberty Hill Foundation hosted the second Green Business Benefit Workshop on October 24th.
We believe that our businesses are an important component of our local economy and it is essential that they have access to the programs and information that can help them grow,be more efficient,and go green at the same time.
The more than 25 attendees listened to the informative presentations of important agencies like the Department Air Quality Management District,the Department of Toxic Substances Control,the Economic and Workforce Development Department,the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power,the Valley Economic Development Center,and the Los Angeles Green Business Certification program/LACCD.
They also had the opportunity to interact with our local Councilmember Felipe Fuentes who joined us for welcoming remarks and reiterated the importance for businesses to be well informed.
Some of the information shared at the workshop was regarding the different ways to save money and energy,the importance of the Green Business Certification,the process to obtain loans and other monetary help,and the changes of some existent programs.
If you are a business owner or would like more information about our workshop and/or the Clean Up Green Up campaign please
contact Mercedes Ortiz at (818) 899-2454 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the month of September,Pacoima Beautiful hosted 3 events related to our vision of creating a healthier,just environment. Two of the events were Complete Streets Focus Groups held at the Pacoima Branch Library. The goal of these focus groups was to bring community members together to discuss what their priorities are for improvement and also to identify safe,walkable streets. The focus groups brought together over 24 people including Pacoima residents of ages 17-75,community leaders from local organizations,Council District 7 staff,as well as CSUN students and staff. The feedback that was received will be compiled into a report by our Community Transformation Grant partners at Community Health Councils and could one day serve as a part of a Complete Streets vision plan for Pacoima.
The third event that we held was PARK(ing) Day. According to Rebar (the founders of PARK(ing) Day),the mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space,to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated,and to improve the quality of urban human habitats. Here at Pacoima Beautiful we believe in creating awareness around the use of space in our community by engaging the public in into our programming. PARK(ing) Day provided us with additional opportunities to meet our community members,and get them involved with our mission. By installing a park in front of the Pacoima Branch Library we were able to bring two valuable community resources adjacent to one another;parks and libraries. Our “park” site had chairs,trees,and activities for kids and adults that made it a success. We succeeded in bringing in the built environment that currently exists in front of the library into our park site such as benches,trees,and trash receptacles. We would like to thank everyone who stopped by and enjoyed our park with us.
Click on this link to read about our PARK(ing) Day site on StreetsBlog L.A. http://la.streetsblog.org/2013/09/20/parking-day-in-pacoima-is-always-beautiful/
On August 16th we kicked off our Keep Pacoima Beautiful campaign. The goal of our campaign is to create civic pride and environmental stewardship by bringing awareness to the beautiful community we call home. Pacoima is a hard-working community that has long suffered from several harsh environmental impacts. Our organization brings awareness to these impacts and educates our local youth,adults,seniors,business owners,school administrators,and local government on ways to mitigate the effects of the impacts and move forward in a greener way.
In an effort to create a more vibrant and colorful environment we worked with two local artists to bring our message to a broader audience. Kristy Sandoval and Raul Guerra contributed hours under the fierce Pacoima sun to create beautiful art pieces on local utility boxes provided to Pacoima Beautiful.
The images of a monarch butterfly and hummingbirds speak to our culture and our love of nature and those creatures who live here,or simply just fly by Pacoima. Our community welcomes all,and we encourage everyone to help us Keep Pacoima Beautiful.
In order to sustain this campaign and move forward with our efforts we’ve started an online fundraising campaign. If you are interested in donating to our organization please visit www.razoo.com/story/Pacoima-Beautiful
This summer,38 youth from across the Northeast San Fernando Valley (N.E.S.F.V) gathered at Pacoima Beautiful for our month long Summer Institute. The premise behind our Summer Institute is to empower youth through programing that provides environmental education,youth leadership/advocacy to foster a healthy and safe environment. This year,the Summer Institute was broken up into two distinct platforms;Community Tool Box and Environmental Science. Our Community Tool Box platform focused on lessons on social,economic and land use injustices in the community,and how by working with public agencies,and as a community we can help remediate those issues. The Environmental Science platform focused on ecology,human impact and preventive measures to sustain our environment. Understanding of these two different platforms helps achieve the same goal;which is to improve the community/environment which we live in.
The Summer Institute took students on a journey both inside and outside of the classroom. We started the Summer Institute with a Toxic Tour around the community. Our students got a firsthand look at problems that the N.E.S.F.V deals with on a day basis. In order to understand the issues in the community,Pacoima Beautiful creates awareness about the issues first. Second,we promote furthering everyone’s education. We spent sessions covering essay writing,college readiness and completion of LAUSD’s A-G requirements. To provide the students with a college experience,we concluded our college information session with a guided tour through University of California,Irvine. We like to expose our students to different Universities and showcase the variety of schools the great State of California has to offer. In an effort to create a sense environmental stewardship and expose them to our wonderful local natural resources,we took our students on a trip to Big Tujunga Canyon located in the Angeles Forest. We hiked up the canyon and along the way we learned about the devastating impact humans have on nature. Thanks to Edward and the National Forest Foundation for making the trip up Big Tujunga a great success.
We look forward to the continued success of our Summer Institute program,and the positive impacts it makes in the lives of our community.
Every Tuesday evening from April 2nd through June 18th,2013 Pacoima Beautiful hosted it’s second installment of The People’s Planning School. This time around,the 12-week program was delivered completely in Spanish and thus the name La Obra del Pueblo was born and given to the Spanish language program. With an average class size of 14 participants per session,the group learned about City Planning,cumulative impacts,public speaking/public participation in Planning,Complete Streets,transportation justice,and food justice. Yvette Lopez,Project Manager facilitated the 12 sessions of La Obra del Pueblo along with the assistance of Polo Corona,Community Organizer. Each session served as a forum for community members of diverse backgrounds to engage in conversations around projects affecting their community,land use,public safety and the overall built environment. To promote Pacoima Beautiful’s mission of developing leaders,La Obra del Pueblo gave participants the opportunity to provide their input on various proposed projects such as the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor,the City of L.A. Mobility Element update,the implementation of a Health and Wellness Element into the City of L.A.’s General Plan,and LADWP’s water recycling efforts. Key decision makers and leaders from L.A. City Planning,Raimi + Associates,LADWP,The Transit Coalition,and City Council Member-elect for District 7,Felipe Fuentes all presented their topics/ideas to the group and encouraged insight and feedback. The end result is a group of community members turned community advocates that are now better equipped to create their ideal place to live and thrive.
The third installment of People’s Planning School is currently being implemented with a group of 17 high school students from various schools in the area. So far they have learned about Land Use,Zoning,Complete Streets,and Cumulative Impacts. At Pacoima Beautiful we make Planning inviting to people of all ages and backgrounds. By encouraging visioning and public participation to create places that resonate with our community members,we are working towards a renewed sense of civic pride.
As of April 22,2013 Fox and Laurel Park and Garden is now open to the public. The park is located at 14353 W. Fox Street,San Fernando,CA 91340. The operating hours are from sunrise to sunset.
“The transformation of Fox and Laurel Park and Garden from the vacant eyesore I passed every day when was a student right here at San Fernando High,into recreational open space is a great victory for our community. Pacoima Beautiful took the lead,working with the community to ensure that this was a park that fit the needs of this community,we’re proud to partner with San Fernando High to ensure that this park and garden continues to be a dynamic resource for our students and our families. I want to especially thank our partners at the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust and the Department of Recreation and Parks for their work helping to make this dream a reality,” said Nury Martinez,Executive Director,Pacoima Beautiful.
Pacoima Beautiful is accepting applications for families who are interested in having a plot in the garden. If you are interested please contact Yvette Lopez or Osbaldo Robles at (818) 899-2454.
On Saturday May 4th,after receiving training from our UCLA partners at CORICA in UCLA’s School of Public Health,nearly 80
people fanned out into Pacoima’s neighborhoods to gather critical data. The volunteers documented 27 segments during the activity,on many of the primary corridors in the area. The information will be compiled to suggest key areas of opportunity and constraint in relation to how the physical environment supports pedestrians. The day was a lot of fun with youth,neighbors and other volunteers helping out. Thank you to everyone!!
During the past few months,Pacoima Beautiful has led its third successful group tutoring session. Pacoima Beautiful staff have witnessed our program participants develop academically and personally. We have had the honor of building a team of dedicated tutors that have not only assisted our students with their homework but also provided college prep information.
Our efforts to build a consistent line of communication with our students and provide a comfortable learning environment,has proven to be effective. Our students are being tutored,mentored,and enlightened. We have witnessed insecurities turn into curiosities. Questions were asked,and our tutors were there to answer. We want to take the time to recognize and congratulate our 25 students for their progress and hard work. A certificate does not suffice to show how proud we are of our students,but it does serve as a token of our appreciation.
Pacoima Beautiful is excited to prepare for yet another session of tutoring at El Nido Family Source Center. We are excited to welcome new and returning K -12 students to our upcoming tutoring sessions. We will initiate our sessions on Tuesday,April 23,2013 and will continue every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00pm to 6:00pm until June 6,2013.
If you would like to receive tutoring or if you are interested in becoming a tutor for the program,please contact Sandra Ramirez at email@example.com or (818) 899-2454 ext 114.
Our Youth Always Ready to Help Out
In the spirit of our mission and in honor of Earth Day,Pacoima Beautiful staff,volunteers and friends celebrated with a community cleanup in Panorama City. The event began at the Sepulveda Recreation Center on the corner of Kester Avenue and Rayen Street and extended to the surrounding neighborhood. After an inspiring pep talk from Osbaldo Robles,Youth Coordinator,everyone grabbed a tool and was off to beautify the park and the surrounding community. Together we filled a large trash bin with bulky items,trash,and other debris. After some intense work,everyone gathered for lunch and paletas at the park.
Thanks to all of the people who helped sponsor and support the effort:Office of Senator Alex Padilla,Office of Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra,Office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa,Council District 6 Office,Office of School Board Member Nury Martinez,the Office of Community Beautification and the Bureau of Sanitation,especially Mr. Luis Sanchez,Northeast Graffiti Busters,Panorama City Neighborhood Council,Environmental Defense Fund and Tree People. We’re also very grateful for the mighty volunteer efforts of Southern California Gas Company,our youth and adult volunteers and their families,and all our staff for their great work. We had a tremendous impact in the community and will continue to promote living each day like it’s Earth Day. Please check out our Photo Gallery for more pictures of the event.
Our Team Pep Talk