Community sustainability is the keystone of our Council's work. Whether performing youth environmental education and action projects to help build the next generation of community leaders or working with local residents to help them have a greater awareness of their role in emergency planning and preparedness--sustainability is the cornerstone word of our Council.
Sustainability involves fostering new ideas and businesses through our various Cultivating Commerce initiatives, taking action to plant and restore damaged or disappearing habitat that supports pollinators and other widlife such as with our Bee Patches initative, demonstrating the importance of recycling and composting to address climate change as with our Worm Wizards of Waste progran, or just simply helping our community be better prepared as individuals and neighborhoods to help prevent fires and be prepared for disasters. We all can make a difference, and small changes cumulatively can create a big impact.
Our North Coast has been visited with catastrophic fires over the past few years. Lives have been lost in these fires, and people have lost all that they hold dear. Individually, we all can make a difference through:
- Fire hazard assessments of your dwelling and lands
- Emergency preparedness and planning
The following links contain useful information:
CalFire "Be Prepared for Any Emergency"
CalFire "Prepare for Wildfire"
Ready.gov "Make A Plan"
Other sustainability programs include fostering new sustainable businesses in the North Coast. Our Local Agriculture Sustainability for Today and Forever (LAST Forever) project it is to build our capacity in agriculturally-related business training to promote new local small agriculture entrepreneurship opportunities. We are currently seeking funding for the LAST Forever project to help us provide leadership and entrepreneur training for beginning, struggling, and underserved agricultural producers that will be sustainable over the long-term.
The project will focus on the needs of entrepreneurs who may have some agricultural-related knowledge, but lack the financial management and marketing skills needed to run a small business as a stable or expanding venture that can create lasting small farming enterprises. Through the development and implementation of a series of free or low-cost focused, skill-building workshops, the LAST Forever project hopes to cover information vital to the development and execution of sound business practices specifically targeted to the specialized issues that small agricultural businesses face in the northcoast. Importantly, we plan that the program will offer individualized, one-on-one information, resources, and support to agricultural operators in their specific area of need by building a network of business advisors and experienced farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural operations.
We partner with several organizations including California FarmLink, West Company, and several Resource Conservation Districts, as well as the University of California Cooperative Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. These partners we hope to involve in a Pilot Project if funding is obtained.
The fundamental program goal for this LAST Forever project is to provide technical assistance to create, expand, and sustain new or existing small farm enterprises. Our three principal program objectives are: 1) Increase access to customized entrepreneurial business training for economically challenged farmers and ranchers; 2) Increase access to mentorship for individuals (farmer to farmer, business to business, etc.,) in preparing business plans and new product development; and 3) Grow a collaborative regional learning community supporting a broader dissemination of best practices in sustainable farming.