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 email@example.com.
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.