Opinion

VOLUNTEER VIEW: Self-reliance group working to share

Center for Local Self Reliance was established in 2008 and had about 25 volunteers in 2014.

Purpose: Volunteers at the Center for Local Self Reliance are installing gardens at the former rose garden and restoring the former caretakers house at Fairhaven Park. Upon completion this fall the house will be available for rental to small neighborhood groups. The house will also be available for teaching gardening, food preservation, cooking and other household skills. Our gardeners are mentoring community members in organic garden techniques, composting, crop rotation and seed saving. The garden produce is being shared with the southside food bank and residents of Chuckanut Square. Later this summer, on Aug. 29 and 30, our site will host the 3rd annual SkillShare Faire.

Volunteer highlights: For the past two years we have been honored to have four extremely dedicated individuals volunteer each Saturday morning to restore the caretakers house. Projects completed include plumbing and wiring updates, installation of a heating system, redesign and modifications to the interior layout, and remodeling the bathroom to accommodate disabled access. Future projects include drywall repairs, painting, flooring restoration, adding a redesigned back porch, and installation of four new parking spaces on site.

Signature fundraiser: We have relied on a mailed annual appeal for funding. Once we gain occupancy of the caretakers house we plan to be financially self-supporting.

Wish list: Currently we are looking for a gas range, an island hood vent for the range, and a 36-inch exterior door with jamb.

Volunteer needs: Gardeners are looking for folks to join them on Thursday evenings to plant and maintain gardens, and later in the season to harvest. Our house restoration team is looking for skilled folks in the following areas: drywall taping and finishing, floor restoration, painting and finish carpentry.

For more information, go online to caretakershouse.org.

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