Monday, 29 December 2008 23:00

Creating a Better Clearwater

Written by  Cory Brennan
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Members of the Create Clearwater Group. Photo by Joyce WhiteCreating a Better Clearwater - Local Group Builds Community Spirit

Clearwater FL, January 2, 2009 - A new organization called Create Clearwater was formed to help build stronger community resources and higher quality of life in the area. In the span of a few short weeks, the group produced a number of educational programs, implemented a project to start a community garden in Clearwater, they are putting together a “Shop Local and Shop Green” guide for Clearwater (www. ClearwaterGreenGuide. com) and greater Tampa Bay, and started planting a demonstration “food forest.” This food forest comprises a mixture of fruit trees, bushes, vines, vegetables and herbs that can provide both a concentrated food supply and natural beauty for the yard, while only requiring in a small space to do so.

Create Clearwater is focused on creating local, organic food supplies, revitalizing neighborhoods, environmental issues, and building a strong local economy – as well as other quality of life issues.

“We don’t see a contradiction between a strong local economy and protecting the environment,” says Cory Brennan, a natural systems designer and founder of Create Clearwater. “In fact, when you design correctly, protecting the environment should create more abundance for everybody, not less. That is the beauty of this program:

Otto Schweitzer tilling. Photo by Joyce White.everybody wins. Our goal is to start projects and create opportunities that bring the resources and knowledge of the community together in a way that strengthens every aspect of it. Where we’ve seen these actions done, the results have been wonderful. For instance, a community garden can offer a neighborhood much more than plots of vegetables, and that is where the design process comes in.”

Founding members of the organization bring decades of experience to the effort. Such members include Debra Lynn Dadd, author of “Really Green” and “Home Safe Home.” Debra was also named “Queen of Green” by the New York Times for her work in the field of ecologically-safe and non-toxic products. In her words, “I would like to see us living in a way that sustains both our local ecosystems and us. There is so much we can do together and learn from each other!”

The group consolidates successful actions from projects around the US and the world such as City Repair in Portland, OR (cityrepair.org), Sustainable Connections in Bellingham, WA (sustainableconnections.org) and the fast-growing Transition Towns movement, which originated in England and is now exploding across the US. (transitiontowns.org)

“What I love about Create Clearwater is that it brings out the power of community in a very natural, organic way,” says founding member Linda Ferguson. “There is a lot of great energy in this community, and I’m excited about the opportunities to increase quality of life in the area.”Create Clearwater Members Gardening. Photo by Joyce White.

Group members have seen examples of  this power in all sorts of ways in their personal lives – with seed and plant sharing, exchange of books, knowledge sharing, furniture swaps and many other examples.

Recently, Cory opened her front door to find a bag of carrots, lettuce and beets freshly picked from someone’s garden sitting there. There was no note – it was an anonymous gift. “That was so nice!” she said.

Create Clearwater meets every Sunday for projects and educational activities, and will be offering workshops, kids activities and more in future months. For more information, check out www.createclearwater.com and request to receive the weekly newsletter.

- Tampa Bay Informer
The Good News Newspaper

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Read 1007 times Last modified on Tuesday, 13 January 2009 17:25

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