The latest news on our Traverse City version of “Central Park”……

Dear friends of Little A and the Community Gardens—

As you all likely are aware, for the past three years Little Artshram has been gardening at the Community Gardens near the barns on the old State Hospitial grounds. We’ve been meeting with our friends at Rolling Centuries Farms, The Grand Traverse Commons, and now the Rec Authority and City who are either land-holders and/or major saviors of this lovely, green space and historic farm in our community.

Little Artshram has recently participated, with the help of some great note-taking friends, attended the series of Brainstorming the Barns public planning process. That took place from last fall (2006) through late spring (2007). Now we are invited to be a part of the groups that are submitting proposals to the Rec Authority/City for more specific plans of usage for the 54 approx acres where the Barns and our lovely Community Gardens reside. You can find and track more specific information that was gathered at these brainstorming meetings by going to

Now, several of us are coming together around the organizational table to do the real work of creating a viable, sustainable and wonderful plan for who/how/what/ is happening on this land, within the framework of usage that came out of the brainstorming meetings.

So, I’m wanting to share with you as much of the process that you can and wish to absorb, and to let you know that Little Artshram is quite excited about the great potential of having a true home base of operation in this area of mighty restoration that is taking place at the Grand Traverse Commons. Also, to let you know important “neighborhood news” like Pleasanton Brick Oven Bakery is open for business, with Higher Grounds Coffee and Left Foot Charley’s on the way. A village is continuing to be born, and you/we/me/he/she are a part of it!

Attached below are notes from a meeting that took place this morning. I tend to be a bit of an abstract artist at times—-my mode of operational organization is to gather a bunch of “puzzle pieces” and wah-lah create the finished piece. So, I’m giving you a heads up: this is not the finished piece….just the beginning of creating a structure by which you are invited to participate.

Not everyone wants to go to meetings or be a part of the planning process, but we want to keep the table open for those who do. Next meeting of this new brainstorming group is scheduled Thursday, July 19th at 9:00 in the conference room at Bldg. #50.

Thanks and welcome greetings to the water spirits that have returned to the gardens!

~Penny Krebiehl

THANKS to Sarna Salzman for this note-taking :

Community Garden
~4 acres ag space, expanding existing area
~building 221 for Artshram activity, artisinal studios, and workshops
~temporary/outdoor classroom space
~artist-in-residence space

Event Coordination
~in conjunction w/TMG spaces
~clearing house
~bridging to Village
~PR for all events
~access to kitchen for staging catering events

Incubator Farming
~remaining southern portion of ag land w/community garden
~access to commercial kitchen
~farmer-in-residence space

Cooperative Autonomy among Partners
Honor the History of the Site (including RCF)
Seamless Connections w/entire Commons
Eco-Sensitive and Regenerative
~Smart, Real Water
~Phyto- and Mico-remediation
~Zero waste principles
~Developing and Marketing Green Concepts for Events
~Minimizing Invasives
Creative Cost Sharing
Common Advisory Structure that encourages Cooperative Autonomy among

Open communication w/Botanical Garden Society
Open communication w/Rolling Centuries
To Invite other partners to open dialogs
A Goat-herd
A Commercial Composter Business


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