Tag Archives: neighborhood-association

First Annual Green Acres Yard Sale held on an “ambiguous” day

Yep. Wouldn’t you know. Our first annual Green Acres yard sale, scheduled for September 6, and which had around ten homes signed up for selling, contracted to about half that, due to the weather. We woke up in the morning to reports of “50% chance of thunderstorm in the morning hours.” Interestingly, only 50% of those signed up decided to go ahead anyway, most of those on one street, mine, Overhill Drive. It was fun, and lucrative, especially in the early hours when hardened yard salers stopped by. Apparently, they were cruising our street as early as 7 A.M.! I was still in bed, and didn’t roll out until around 9 A.M.

We’ve decided to hold a more comprehensive yard sale next year, with more planning, a festive atmosphere and hopefully, many many more people who want to let go of at least some of their stored stuff.

BTW: I bought a lava lamp, and was gifted with a long gown, which I decided to give again, to a housemate. Neighbors exchanging with neighbors. That’s what we’d like to see more of, eh?

Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos. But here’s one from today, leftovers from my yard sale. I just sent this photo to the Green Acres email list, in case anyone wants free stuff that mostly has to do with encouraging rain from gutters to go far away from the house. I’ll leave the stuff out there for a few days, and take what remains to the ReStore. Also, a few free plants . . .

P.S. It never did rain.


Bi-Weekly Uncanny Project Report: Progress! (and a personal confession)

Georgia collects Rebekka's bags to add to her own for the Uncanny Project's first trip to recycling center, July 12, 2014. Mark the day!

Georgia collects the bags Rebekka collected to the ones she collected for the Uncanny Project’s first trip to J.B. Salvage, July 12, 2014. Mark the day!

Well, well, after three times going out and around, Georgia and Rebekka, the two chief instigators of the Uncanny Project, are finally making some headway with this start-up project to collect aluminum cans from neighbors to take to J.B. Salvage in exchange for cash which will in turn help fund GANA, GANE and GANG projects. YES!

Georgia:  It was fun taking the cans to JB Salvage. Our cans totaled 13 lbs for a total of 6.89 + $1.00 for the small piece of copper pipe for a grand total of $7.89. We’re on our way!


Rebekka: Well, I guess that’s a good start, right? I think we should really start thinking about getting block captains set up. Possibly at the next meeting we could discuss further?


Georgia: That’s a great Idea. I’ll send some info later today about Block Captains. I tried once before and I didn’t do so well so we have to be very diligent this time.

Oops! True Confession time:  I, Ann Kreilkamp, a member of the Green Acres Neighborhood Association, (GANA) Ecovillage (GANE), and Garden (GANG), was the culprit who poo-pooed the idea of Block Captains to the group when Georgia first proposed it a number of years ago. Now I realize it’s obviously a GREAT IDEA, especially when initially fueled by the Uncanny Project.

Mea culpa!


June 29, 2014: Monthly Potluck with Speaker on Disaster Preparedness

Nine Green Acres neighbors met in Georgia and Bill’s lovely “Montana Room” (so named from  their fond memories of the year they spent in Bozeman, at Montana State University). Since I’m a westerner, I hadn’t even noticed that yes, the room does have a western theme! (As does the nearby bathroom and Georgia’s office).


Eating mostly salads on a sultry evening, we enjoyed each other and, at my urging, passed around some  of the wonderful collages that Georgia creates. And that led us to talking about the “ecowarriors” created by Harmony students that are about to go up on the outside walls of the DeKist House next to the GANG garden; how we want to include other art, public art, as we continue our slow, gradual transformation from neighborhood into ecovillage. (BTW: the technical name for what we are doing is “retrofit ecovillage.” In other words, we don’t build from the ground up, but instead change perceptions in our existing neighborhoods towards more of a sharing economy, where we depend on one another for some of our needs, rather than thinking we all have to do and have everything on our own. An example in our neighborhood is the GANG garden.)

Rebecca brought up the idea of having a weekly or bi-weekly get together, where we gather to do our own art, and share it in conversation with others. Weaving, collages, other art, journal work, whatever! We even thought of a name, the Soul Sisters (and Brothers?) Montana Group, since we’d like to meet in that same wonderful room. Joke? Not sure. We’ll see.

This light-hearted focus was a far cry from the intended agenda of the evening, a talk by Antonya Wallace, a new neighbor and AmeriCorps worker with the City of Bloomington. Antonya had presented her “You can build a NEIGHBORHOOD DISASTER PLAN in just 5 steps” to CONA (Council of Neighborhood Associations), hoping that individual neighborhood associations would then invite her to speak.

Well, guess what? She told us that Green Acres was the only neighborhood that contacted her!

(812-325-4159, wallacea@bloomington.in.gov)

She was surprised, as were we. But then we should get used to the idea that Green Acres does seem habitually ahead of the curve. After all, we were the first neighborhood in the city to make sustainability the keynote of our official plan as filed with the city! So apparently, we’re going to be the first neighborhood to actually admit that a disaster could happen — of whatever kind, natural (tornado, flood, earthquake) or man-made (e.g., spilled poisons from a tipped over truck on the Bypass or a train derailment; a crazed shooter, an extended power outage, and who knows what else!) — and it behooves us to be prepared.

Not only that, but as we focus on creating our disaster plan, we build our interconnectivity as a neighborhood — itself the most important thing we can do to help us all feel safe, no matter what.

Here, in outline form, is the summary of the “5 steps” needed to create a Disaster Plan.

First, realize that we need to divide disaster planning into Before, During and After. Most of the planning is, hopefully, BEFORE!


Step One: Define your area: how many households and people? Language barriers? What buildings or safe places exist? Where are the roads, entrance/exit points, hills, waterways.

Step Two: Recruit leaders: two groups — those to help with planning, and those to help with response.

Step Three: Scout your area. What are our threats? Determine our resources (transportation, EMT people, equipment, supplies). Discuss pros and cons of our landscape. Do we have any obstacles that would make entry/exit difficult? And most important: know your neighbors (skills/training, resources, make a neighborhood contact list (with people per household). What are the limitations (disability, elderly, children, etc.). Establish a system for lost/found pets. Establish a neighborhood gathering place. Need a care center for people who need extra help. First aid location.

Step Four: Build your team. Leaders should represent our community diversity (language, age, disability).

Step Five: Plan your strategy. Select leader for the overall effort. Develop an action plan. Establish teams of 307 people (communications, core, materials/supplies, search & rescue, transport, information team, rescue progress team.

This a lot to take in, and while it seems premature to establish a disaster plan now, if and when we are in the middle of a disaster, we will be very glad we did.

Thank you Antonya!

P.S. I asked her to please send us some further links. Which she did, below.

Here are some free FEMA trainings that I recommend:
IS-00022 (An in-depth guide to citizen preparedness)
IS-00394.A (protecting your home or small business from disaster)
IS-00010.A (Animals in disaster: awareness and Preparedness)
IS-00366 (Planning for the needs of children in disasters)
IS-00909 (Community Preparedness: implementing simple activities for everyone)

To access the trainings go to this link http://training.fema.gov/IS/crslist.aspx and type in the code in the bar on the top-right

Of course there are many more but I think that is a good foundation. There are a lot of elements that overlap, so its not too much work. After you finish them FEMA will send you a certification!

I’m not sure what PDFs you want, so I’ll just attach a few, and you can let me know what else you’re looking for!

Here is the neighborhood 5 step plan that I gave you: http://emergency.lacity.org/stellent/groups/departments/@emd_contributor/documents/contributor_web_content/lacityp_024010.pdf

Disaster planning for seniors by seniors:

Overview of animals in disaster:

Preparing for disaster for people with disabilities or functional needs:

What to have in your home disaster kit:


The ready.gov site has a lot of helpful information on it.

Click below for Antonya’s emergency preparedness card:

new site card


May 27, 2014: We launch the “Uncanny Project” — repurposing cans to raise money


May 27, 2014. Rebekka poses with part of our first Green Acres “Uncanny” Project harvest. YES!

Written by Rebekka, with input from Rebecca, Georgia, and Ann.

On Thursday (May 22), Tuesday (May 27) and Wednesday (May 28) four of the Green Acres Neighborhood women piloted the first efforts toward the UnCanny Village Project. On Thursday, Rebecca and Rebekka went door to door along Hillsdale, Overview and 5th Street to inform neighbors of the project and to ask them for their cans to be picked up the following Tuesday. Unfortunately, most people weren’t home that evening. The women spoke to 5 neighbors, who were all interested and willing to donate their cans.

Meanwhile, Georgia had done the same thing on Hillsdale between 3rd and 5th, and 4th street, and nine neighbors were willing to participate.

The following Tuesday, Ann and Rebekka drove around the block to pick up two bags of cans. (Did the others forget?)

Also, on May 22, Georgia went around the block of 4th Street, Hillsdale and 3rd Street. Of the nine neighbors, only one remembered? On Wednesday morning, before the recycling trucks arrived, Georgia did pick up one box of cans.

Since we don’t have many cans yet, we’re going to hold them until we get enough to make a trip down to the Salvage and Recycling Center, where they will be weighed and exchanged for money — currently 53 cents per pound (34 cans = one pound). Profits will go toward programs for GANA (this neighborhood association) GANG (our first neighborhood garden) and GANE (our forming ecovillage).

In conclusion, while our first efforts led only to small outcomes, we realize that every big project has to begin somewhere. All participating women are motivated and encouraged to try again next recycling week. Next time, we will bring paper handouts including the three websites for further information. If you’re interested in helping out to spread the word about GANA, GANG, and GANE, plus raise money for our beautiful neighborhood, look out for the next email stating the place and time for our next meeting regarding the UnCanny Project.