A Peace Garden on G Street
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?
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?