Friends of Santa Cruz- San Andreas Castro Adobe State Historic Park
This site is an ongoing 30-year restoration project dedicated to the preservation of the history, culture, and teachings of early California settlers. Built in 1848, the adobe structure provides a beautiful space where the community can gather to teach, learn and grow. Located at 184 Old Adobe Rd, Watsonville, the two-story Adobe structure, and its surrounding land have the potential to be used in a greater capacity.
Currently, the historic park is used a few times per month for public visitor events. The 1.5-acre property consists of the adobe structure, a small orchard, as well as a large dirt parking lot. We propose to expand on the use of the land by implementing a permaculture and healing project. The land provides space for cultivation and may serve as a fantastic platform to begin a permaculture project. With an ongoing project at this site, visitors would also have the chance to learn about the principals and design of permaculture.
An Indigenous Perspective
While the intention of preserving the history of California settlers at this site is that of providing a healthy perspective for visitors, it falls short of demonstrating the history of the land in its entirety. Predicated on the commercialized Spanish mission, the land, and its history that this site is currently dedicated to preserving stems from a mission that razed the native American culture that inhabited the land for thousands of years before the Spanish settlers.
During the era characterized by Spanish missions, Native Americans were encaptivated and enslaved to construct a Spanish way of life, while forcefully converting to their belief systems and culture. While this Spanish settlement was disrespectful to the native peoples and their way of life, it pales in comparison to the devastation that disease had on their population. Nearly 90% of the indigenous population was exhausted due to diseases such as smallpox.
To a holistic vision, the preservation of a true history of the land will take into account the indigenous peoples settlement. In coordination with The Neo Evolutionary Logic Project, we intend to present this perspective to the Friends of Santa Cruz members.
By expanding on the potential use of this land, we will begin to grow healing energy within the community, as well as develop a space for cultivating positive change. This center will serve as a communal enterprise in which ideas can be shared, and projects may be brought to fruition. Intentions behind this project are nothing short of serving the highest and greatest good of all beings involved.
Return of the Natives Planting
We participated in a planting event with Return of the Natives. At Zmudowski beach in Monterey Bay, we planted 1200 native plants including Sagewort, Buckwheat, and Beach Primrose. In coordination with students at California State University in Monterey Bay, we assisted in planting these native plants to help the sand dunes that line along the beautiful coastline. The ecosystems that these dunes support will gain stability with the introduction of these plants. Many insects and animals, including the Snowy Clover bird and the Smith’s Blue Butterfly who use the vegetation for protection, will enjoy a more balanced habitat.
In the early 1900’s, ice-plant was introduced to the coastline of California with the intention of holding shifting sand more stable for the construction of railroad tracks. However, the introduction of ice-plant has begun to lessen the biodiversity of the delicate ecosystem that the dunes support, and its effects are felt.
With continued effort and awareness, Return of the Natives progresses with this work and many other projects alike with the intention of creating a better tomorrow. Awareness of these environmental issues and remedial projects continues to grow and we are so thankful to have had the opportunity to share in restoring the one common habitat that we as humans share together, Mother Earth.
Environmental Education Workshop
In coordination with the Boulder Valley School District and Friar Farms, a Friday morning field trip for Boulder middle school students inevitably grew into something more.
Located just to the east of the city of Boulder, Friar Farms is a 40-acre farm that seeks to bring about the best of its land and of the people who experience its beauty. At Friar Farms, “We utilize organic growing methods that are sprouted from the best seed and the purest water. Developing intent that is rooted in love brings about the fullest expression of that which we grow.”
During our time with the students, we taught principals of gratitude and intention while working with seeds and cultivating a healthy soil complex. Over the course of the day, we put together compost bags, spread seeds, gathered weeds for fermented plant juices, and spent time with these majestic horses.
With the intention of opening the minds of the students to the inner workings of the natural world, we sought to gift the experience of working with the elements of nature. In doing so, we had a wonderful afternoon full of excitement and learning. Many of the kids were excited to get their hands dirty and we hope to offer this experience again in the future. Special thanks to Scott and Friar Farms for providing the space for all to learn and grow.
Acadia National Park Trail Restoration