For 8 years, incredible visionaries and organizers have transformed an abandoned lot in NW Oakland into a bustling community hub, lush urban garden, and flourishing eco-village.
After touring the country and promoting sustainability since 2005, the Sustainable Living Roadshow decided to root down in our hometown of Oakland, CA and create PLACE for Sustainable Living. We collaborated with other local organizations and individuals to develop a public-serving experiential learning center to showcase and foster urban gardening and homesteading, community resiliency and preparedness, social and ecological justice, artistic expression and public placemaking. PLACE exists to collaboratively realize solutions, democratize access to knowledge and resources, and facilitate self-determination, autonomy, and mutual empowerment in our lives, neighborhoods, towns, cities, and bio-regions.
We've incubated cooperative design and fabrication spaces as hubs of regenerative innovation and community self-determination, working to continuously birth autonomy through art, community, and ecology.
We've built a Fabrication Lab, a makers' space, an outdoor clay studio, and a co-working space for metal workers, wood workers, and all the crafty folks and community organizers to tinker, sew, create, and collaborate; we've transformed our warehouse into an art barn for folks to host events and share knowledge, from educational workshops on permaculture and natural building to direct action trainings and free therapeutic dance classes for Oakland teachers on strike; we've turned a vacant cement lot into a regenerative design demonstration site filled with permaculture gardens, rainwater harvesting, greywater, & composting systems; we've restored ecosystems--welcoming back local birds (including hummingbirds!), monarch butterflies, bees, mycelium, and worms and built 8 tiny homes to house the stewards who take care of it all! We've built on our roofs, we've built on our sidewalks, we've built everywhere we could. Most importantly, we've built community: all of this was accomplished through the power of collectivity--built by the people, for the people.
Now, we’re asking for help to raise $30,000 to make necessary infrastructural upgrades to improve PLACE's accessibility and comfort. We believe that in order to manifest our collective liberatory future we must build spaces not only where everyone is welcome, but that are constructed intentionally for all people.
After eight years of building with the precarity of a month-to-month lease, PLACE has officially secured a multi-year lease through 2021, and we are eager to invest in significant renovations to further root down and improve the safety and accessibility of the space. We want to expand the ways we serve the community, with more diverse workshops and events, new placemaking projects, and a space that welcomes youth, seniors, and people with mixed-abilities. But all this requires some key infrastructural upgrades: building a multi-stall bathroom that’s in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), installing a wheelchair lift to bring all people to our main event space, and setting up a radiant-heating system that will allow for programming in the main space throughout the winter.
With the money raised, we plan on spending $7,000 for a wheelchair lift to facilitate accessibility from the ground level up 4 feet to the level of the barn so we can have all bodies participate in any programming that is based in this particular space.
Additionally we anticipate spending $17,000 on a wheelchair accessible bathroom so we can host mixed ability members of the community.
Finally, we would like to use the remaining $6,000 on a radiant heat system that would install solar hot water panels on our roof, and heat water that would run through a series of PEX water pipes installed under the floor of the barn, so we are using the sun to heat the barn, even on a cold winter day.
With any extra funds we raise we plan to revamp our Hearth so we can continue to support folks who cook for direct actions.
With your help, we can take PLACE to the next chapter and continue co-creating a more just and liberatory world for all.
*If you would like to make your donation tax-deductible please make a check payable to our fiscal sponsor:
Create Peace Project
1121 64th Street, Oakland, CA 94608