2020 Grants Challenge

LA Eco-Village Community Hub

The LA Eco-Village Community Hub will be a welcoming and vibrant place for LA residents to learn how to live healthier, more resilient, and less environmentally impactful lives. By transforming a former auto repair shop into a community venue, surrounded by a demonstration urban farm, the LA Eco-Village (LAEV) will build on its nearly 30 year history and extend its outreach capacity. Programs will include, film screenings, educational tours, food growing classes, a food coop, and expert workshops on all aspects of resilient living.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

Urban Soil / Tierra Urbana (USTU)

Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust (BVCLT)

Bresee Foundation

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

LAEV has many on-going community partnerships. This project will build on existing relationships with the following:

* Urban Soil/Tierra Urbana: The cooperative of LAEV residents will collaborate through educational tours, public talks, gardening workshops, and farm volunteering.

* Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust: The land trust will ensure the demonstration farm is a compliment to the Bimini Place Learning Garden, which it oversees.

* Bresee Foundation: Our partners at this vital local youth center will develop opportunities for children and young people to engage with the Hub, including liaising with local schools, such as Virgil Middle School and Central City Value.

What is the need you’re responding to?

The potential disasters facing LA communities are increasing. Now is the time to build community capacity and resilience – especially in the most vulnerable areas. The LAEV Community Hub will be located in a mostly immigrant neighborhood with multiple stressors that limit ability to recover from disasters, including a poverty rate of 42%. Our partners at the Bresee Foundation serve vulnerable families in the 100th percentile for lack of insurance and the 99th percentile for lack of home ownership. The Hub will be within walking distance of 8 public schools, which are under-resourced and have limited garden/farm learning opportunities. Educating these school children, and connecting with their families, will be at the heart of the outreach program, enabled by this grant. Using food and culture as the foundations of community connection, we will draw local and county residents to the Community Hub, creating a deep and sustained movement toward greater community resilience.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

Building on almost 3 decade’s experience, demonstrating higher quality, lower impact urban living patterns, LAEV plans to increase the availability of its resources for local community benefit. The Cooperative Resources and Services Project (CRSP), LAEV’s founding organization, owns the converted auto-repair shop property outright and is committed to utilizing it as a community resource. This project will be the latest in a long line of successful ventures to emerge from LAEV and CRSP, including LA County Bicycle Coalition, Cafecito Organico, LA Permaculture Guild, and CicLAvia.

LAEV members produce a considerable amount of food on our residential properties and manage our learning garden in collaboration with LAUSD. CRSP holds regular tours of LAEV for schools, colleges, and members of the public. As a community we practice disaster preparedness and plan to share these skills at the Hub. We anticipate partnering with our Rampart Village Neighborhood Council in this effort.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 3,000

Indirect Impact: 15,000

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

We want schools to create/expand their own urban farm programs and we want residents to start growing their own food. Our water conservation workshops will result in reduced water use. These effects, and many others, will ultimately reduce the community’s environmental impact.

The Hub is intended to serve all county residents and will be a model for other areas emulate. Being centrally situated, within walking distance of red and purple metro line stops, we encourage car-free journeys to connect with us. For those unable to make the journey, the Hub website and resilience dashboard will facilitate remote engagement. LAEV has an established online presence and we are part of the Global Eco-Village Network – our impact is international.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

In the short term we aim to maximize opportunities for community contact and knowledge sharing in our local area. We will track our progress with the following metrics (annual targets in brackets):

* School student attendance of developmentally appropriate educational tours – K-12 and urban farming classes (2000)

* Number of free public talks by experts on resilience provided - with accommodation of languages other than English (25)

* Attendance of free public talks on resilience (1000)

* Website and social media posts, referencing resilience, access to fresh food, and water conservation

* Online resilience dashboard hits

Additional metrics are:

* Urban farm food production

* Organic waste from food consumed and produced on-site

* On-site compost production

* Food coop produce at the Hub

* Water use reduction from conservation and advanced urban farming methods

A survey of the community will be conducted with questions on whether residents feel more prepared to handle a large-scale disaster as a result of what they have learned at the Hub.

We want to see concrete steps taken by local residents to increase resilience for the long term. This could include organizing and developing disaster preparedness plans, creating new community farms, accessing and expanding the food coop, or investing in community solar and greywater systems. Above all we want to increase social cohesion and we want the Hub to be widely seen as the essential focal point for community resilience, over the long term.

Which of the LIVE metrics will your submission impact?​

Access to healthy food

Local water

Resilient communities

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the best place to LEARN

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to PLAY

LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Communications support

Capacity, including staff

Strategy assistance and implementation