On April 19th a dead end street off of Van Nuys Boulevard came alive during the Bradley Block Party. Children sang and built models,bikes were repaired,and fresh fruits and vegetables were given away. The activity that took place on that Saturday will hopefully become permanent when this block of Bradley Avenue is turned into a public plaza. The events of the block party reflect the vibrancy of the Northeast San Fernando Valley and also the lack of open space where events like this can take place.
Pacoima Beautiful designed the event as a test run for how a permanent plaza could one day function on Bradley Street. A diverse array of groups including Bikesanxs del Valle,Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural &Bookstore,MEND,and Heroes of Life were invited to perform throughout the day. A plaza at this location could act as an open event space that these groups as well as other community organizations could utilize. The location of the Plaza next to San Fernando Gardens and along Van Nuys Boulevard will give the community a place to congregate,hang out with friends and enjoy Pacoima.
This one day event showed that there is a strong demand for converting Bradley into a plaza. However,we need to convince the City of Los Angeles. Please sign our petition to tell the Department of Transportation to create a plaza along Bradley Street! http://chn.ge/1ttoYGD
On March 1,2014,Pacoima Beautiful participated in TreePeople’s annual Fruit Tree Giveaway at Roger Jessup Park in Pacoima. Not only did our community receive the gift of rain that Saturday,they also received free fruit trees thanks to TreePeople! Approximately 800 trees were distributed to local residents who attended the event,and participated in a tree care workshop. Our very own YUTEP (Youth United Towards Environmental Protection) set up a stand,which became popular rather quickly. As people arrived at the event our youth greeted local residents with freshly squeezed orange juice (on-site!) and our very popular plantita cupcakes! These creative home-made chocolate cupcakes were edible replicas of a small plant growing carrot green tops. Not only were they adorable,but they were delicious. Going for $1.50,our cupcakes allowed our students to raise money for their upcoming camping trip to Crystal Lake in Azusa. We want to give a shout out to our community members,Mr. List from Sylmar High School,Congressman Tony Cardenas and Norma Cardenas ,and Pam Gibson from TreePeople,who allowed us to be part of this event,and to all those that supported our youth and bought our cupcakes and orange juice. Thank you for improving the community one tree at a time,and for helping to keep Pacoima beautiful!
Check out –http://blog.treepeople.org/community/2014/03/pacoima-fruit-tree-festival
On Sunday January 26,2014 the Pacoima Beautiful team unveiled our first mural at the Pacoima Community Center. Thanks to our partners at the Environmental Defense Fund we were able to work with local artist Kristy Sandoval and gather input by several community members to come up with a design. The Department of Cultural Affairs was also helpful in providing assistance getting through the mural approval process required by the recently passed mural ordinance. In attendance were Assembly member Raul Bocanegra;Ruben Zaragoza,Senior Area Director for the Office of Council member Felipe Fuentes;members of the Environmental Defense Fund,the GR818ERS,Bobby Arias,President of Communities in Schools,Urban Planner James Rojas of Place It,Mom’s Clean Air Fund and food was provided by Panda Express.
The theme of the mural design is clean energy. The mural features blue solar panels as a source of clean energy in the background and a bright yellow light bulb shining brightly with a plant growing inside of it- in the foreground. On one of the leaves sits a monarch butterfly;which symbolizes migration. The monarch is also featured on the utility box that Kristy transformed into a beautiful piece of public art in 2013 as part of our Keep Pacoima Beautiful campaign,as well as her other murals on Van Nuys Blvd.’s Mural Mile. The base of the light blub is wrapped with a banner with the words Keep Pacoima Beautiful painted on it which is meant to inspire a sense of environmental stewardship and civic pride in our community. We will continue working to spread this message in future projects planned for 2014.
We would like to thank the following volunteers who participated in the painting of the mural;Jairo Alvarez,Alexander Banda, Cristina Banda,Jasmin Banda,Bikesanxs,Issac Campos,Yessenia Campos,Adair Cid,Armando Corona,Alycks Granados, Lila Hayatdavoudi,Juan Ibanez, Nuvia Jara,Andrew Miranda,Imelda Padilla,Levi Ponce, Tomas Prado,Miguel Ramos, Andrea Reyes, Alexandra Reyes,Jose Reyes,Juan Reyes,David Rodriguez,Sal Rodriguez,Miguel Rubalcaba,Roberto Santiago,Carlos Serrano,Diego Serrano,Violeta Soto, Jennifer Solorzano,and Salvador Valentin.
Local high school clubs in partnership with Pacoima Beautiful,show leadership in the community by actively participating in keeping their communities clean. Students from Arleta High School,San Fernando High School,and Cesar Chavez Learning Academy dedicate one meeting a month to cleaning up their community. Student come together,grab tools and collect trash around their school campuses,parks and the Pacoima Wash. These students are taking a proactive approach to improving their community,and changing the mentality of their peers who feel littering is acceptable. Eco-League from Arleta HS,Science Club from San Fernando HS,and Imagine Green from Arts Academy at Cesar Chavez HS understand the harmful effects waste has on our communities and the further reaching repercussions plastic waste has as with the marine life. Therefore these young environmentalists are taking the necessary steps to mitigate negative impacts by keeping their communities clean.
Students from the high school clubs also participate in YUTEP,Pacoima Beautiful’s Youth United Towards Environmental Protection. These students take their dedication to the environment and their community even further than at their school campuses. YUTEP members meet on Wednesday s from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm to discuss,learn,and act on environmental issues in their communities. SAT preparation,fun activities during weekly meetings and events in the community are also a part of the YUTEP agenda. With all that they have going on,YUTEP stays busy all year long working hard but having fun doing it. YUTEP student members demonstrate that by being dedicated to their schools and community,the future of our Northeast San Fernando Valley communities is in good hands.
Summer 2013,Pacoima Beautiful collaborated with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Forest Foundation to set forward the first annual Angeles National Forest Treasured Landscape Education program in Big Tujunga canyon. The program,which met with six youth crew members and two crew leaders,would meet every weekend from June through September 2013 in efforts to go out into two heavily impacted picnic areas in the Angeles National Forest and spread word of human impact on environmental issues most seen in those areas. After a first walkthrough of the sites,the youth determined what essential information would be most important to inform the community on. Ultimately,the group originated with two approaches of briefing the public. The first being through example,extensive amounts of garbage were found every weekend,and a regular cleanup of each site would set precedent for others at the picnic sites as well as an undamming of the river,another harsh impact on the wilderness life would be seen far too often and would be advised to be brought down. The second form of approach was through surveying the public,knowing the concerns of the community to inform appropriate authorities on what is expected from the public. Moving forward into 2014 we hope to continue our efforts with the USDA in hopes to maintain the wildlife which we have so close to home thriving for years to come.
YUTEP,Pacoima Beautiful’s Youth United Towards Environmental Protection,was fortunate enough to participate in the NARCONON Drug Prevention and Education 5K fun walk and race Sunday December 8.th The race was in promotion of drug awareness and education. Twenty of our members participated in the “Say No to Drugs” race at the scenic Universal Studios back lots where such epic films as Jaws,Pyscho,and more recently War of the Worlds have been filmed. Students met at Pacoima Beautiful at 6:00 AM on Sunday morning in order to participate in what was for most,their first ever 5k race. Snacks and water were provided so that students could have their energy for what was to be an exciting day ahead.
Once YUTEP arrived to the race the group put on their bright green shirts provided by NARCONON and runner identification tags. Students were then able to make their way through the 5K course enjoying the scenery and working hard to conquer the various hills that needed to be climbed. As participants crossed the finished line,they were welcomed by cheers,medals and various goodies.
After all the post-race activities,the youth headed back to Pacoima Beautiful. Thanks to Councilmember Felipe Fuentes and his staff at Pacoima City Hall,for providing transportation to and from the event and to Sigal Adini,Director of NARCONON for sponsoring our youth.
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