A Peace Garden on G Street

$5,537 of $10k goal

Raised by 35 people in 14 months
Elizabeth Sparks  TACOMA, WA
A Peace Garden 
For The G Street Neighborhood Commons


We ask for your support of a completely unique neighborhood commons initiative: A shared peace garden, open to all, designed for meditation, quiet conversation, and prayer.

There are a lot of special things about our G Street neighborhood. Our immediate area includes a technical college, a food bank, a large overnight shelter and drop-in center, a small transitional housing community, a pioneering needle exchange program, mental health services, and a community garden. Building up and supporting this neighborhood has been the work of many hands, but it was particularly the lifelong work of Fr Bill Bichsel SJ, known as Bix. He worked to create a place that meets the basic needs of vulnerable neighbors, but more than that, for 40 years he strove to create community, a place that meets our shared human need for belonging, for connection.

The Tacoma Catholic Worker is a small organization born out of that work. We provide transitional housing and other basic services to people experiencing homelessness, and advocate for livable communities and economic justice. Carrie Little of Little Eorthe Farm helped us develop the Catholic Worker gardens to grow fresh produce on 4 adjacent city lots. While the vegetable garden has been continually cultivated, much of the property remains undeveloped. Even picnic tables in the grass was impractical due to the sloped terrain.  Three years ago we invited all interested neighbors to discuss and decide collectively how we wished to use these undeveloped spaces. Through conversation, we concluded that one need was for a social gathering space. Last summer we completed a brick plaza surrounded by flower beds where there had previously only been weeds and gravel. Every week in summer it is used for a gathering and meal for about 50 people, a time to share and connect.

Now we are moving on to the next phase of the neighborhood commons: a peace garden for quiet conversation, meditation and prayer. In all our planning, one common thread is a need for rest and renewal amid the often chaotic, and sometimes overwhelming challenges faced by those who live and work in this community. We want to put a meditation garden at the heart of our neighborhood commons. With the help of generous friends and supporters, we already have a beautiful design by Bill Peregrine of Earthdance Organics, created with sustainability and low water use in mind. We have been given the cedar by members of the Gagnon family to create the central arbor, and Donna Pitt of Bellarmine Prep gave the landscaping wall blocks to build the raised beds.

Many hands are ready to build this garden, but we need gravel and stone for paths, parts for the drip irrigation system, paint for the backdrop mural, and - of course - plants. That is where you come in. Can you contribute funds or materials to our campaign? Our world needs more spaces of beauty, common ground, and human connection. Can you make a gift that helps us plant the seeds of peace in a little patch of ground in the neighborhood commons on G Street?
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Update 10
Posted by Elizabeth Sparks
2 months ago
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We are really moving forward on the meditation garden and would love if you would consider supporting us to complete it this Spring and Summer. We have some students from different universities and high school church groups that are coming to bring there hands and work to support us as well...we are see the end!!! Yeah! Love to you!
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Update 9
Posted by Elizabeth Sparks
2 months ago
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Here is from where we started, check out this video!
This is the video from where we started
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Update 8
Posted by Elizabeth Sparks
2 months ago
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The garden space is radically changed since we last wrote to you. All the structure is now in place to complete the garden by the end of the spring. The gifts we received in the fall purchased the concrete to build the raised bed walls, and the remaining cedar for the arbor is now going up piece by piece. We hope, with your help, to raise the remaining funds throughout March so that paths, stones, and planting can move forward.

The beauty of this project has been the depth of financial and on-the-ground support that have carried us through each step. We are amazed again and again by the gifts we receive. We have enjoyed building and learning alongside neighbors and guests of Guadalupe House, and now that the tough structural work is complete we can look forward to the planting and final details that bring the space to life. We are excited to give this gift to the neighborhood.

Can you help us complete a Peace Garden?
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Update 7
Posted by Elizabeth Sparks
2 months ago
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More pics!!!! Appreciated our friends and neighbors!!!
Filling the concrete!!!
Our new Catholic Worker, Gus!!!
Liz coating the boards for pouring!
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$5,537 of $10k goal

Raised by 35 people in 14 months
Created February 11, 2016
Elizabeth Sparks  
PM
$50
P Malone
1 month ago

For Bix

$20
Anonymous
1 month ago
$50
Anonymous
2 months ago
$300
Anonymous
2 months ago
JB
$150
J B
4 months ago

Donation from friends of the Grant CEA and St. Leo communities.

$1,250
Anonymous
6 months ago
$1,250
Anonymous
6 months ago
$50
Holly Knoll
6 months ago

What a labor of love! Can't wait to see it evolve even more!

BP
$50
Bill Peregrine
6 months ago

What a pleasure to see the garden coming together so nicely!

AS
$150
Ann Sauer
11 months ago

This donation is in the memory of Betty Troup Fleischmann.

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