Mission Statement: The Center for Local Self-Reliance educates and empowers our community for a sustainable future by demonstrating the resilience of urban homesteading. We are a 501(c)(3) organization.
Board of Directors:
Steve Wilson, president
Steve has spent most of the past thirty years as a preschool teacher alongside his wife Kathie. Their Childlife Montessori School is located in Bellingham’s South neighborhood. Steve was a co-founder of the South Neighborhood Association in 2004, and served on the Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission for several years. He is passionate about restoring the Caretakers House at Fairhaven Park, serving on the CLSR house committee. In his spare time he enjoys gardening, sailing and playing music.
Mary Mullen, secretary
Mary has been self employed as a massage practitioner for over 25 years. Her two year tenure on the South Neighborhood Association morphed into a mission to save the Caretakers House. Mary loves gardening and spending time with family and friends.
Robyn du Pre, treasurer
Robyn du Pre' brings more than twenty years' experience in non-profit management, environmental education and land conservation to the CLSR board. She has worked for several of the region's premier environmental organizations as a program manager, conservation director, and executive director. Recently, she has applied her skills to the growing food movement, as Director of Outreach and Development for the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, an international non-profit organization dedicated to planting fruitful trees to benefit communities and heal the earth. Robyn's personal interests include self-reliant food gardening, back country bike touring, backpacking, kayaking, baking extra good bread, and hanging out with her chickens.
Marinus Van de Kamp
Marinus has lived on the Southside most of his 25 years in this country. He is the co-owner of Landmark Enterprises, doing designing and estimating for this small remodeling company. He has a college degree in Construction Technology and hardly knew what a 2×4 was, even after getting his degree, because building in the Netherlands, where he grew up, doesn't involve much wood. This is the reason he initially became a cabinet maker and carpenter, to learn some of the missing pieces of the trade. His varied background has helped to make decisions on how to restore the beautiful historic house at the Fairhaven Park. Among his hobbies are gardening, jazz piano and soccer.
Alison has spent the last thirty years as co-owner of a wholesale nursery called Cascade Cuts, growing and selling herbs, and perennials bedding plants. The passion for growing a wide variety of plants using natural tools like compost teas and beneficial insects lead her to form Sound Horticulture, where she now also supports other growers as well. Alison has served on various horticultural industry boards and advisory positions, including Flower Growers of Puget Sound and Edmonds Community College. She loves creating gardens and playing on the waters of the Salish Sea.
Shannon came to Bellingham for college and never left. She is involved in various community endeavors around sustainable building, living, and gardening. The miracle of the seed, the abundance of food gardens, and the way gardens can enhance community continues to amaze her. A founding member of the Bellingham Chapter of Solar WA, certified Sustainable Building Advisor, organizer for the annual Bellingham Community Seed Day, and an advocate for the health of our surroundings through ecological and participatory process. In her time she enjoys long trail walks with dogs, cooking, and dreaming up ways to make Bellingham an even better place to be.
Lynn has spent over 30 years as a Horticulturist in a variety of positions; working for a company making Bonsai, Reforestation in the Pacific Northwest, Botanical gardens in NJ , designing and maintaining Fragrance and Sensory gardens for the blind and handicapped, as gardener for WWU and providing garden consultation and design. She studied at the California School of Herbal Studies before coming to Bellingham in 1989. Lynn has held a long time vision of developing an educational medicinal garden displaying the cultivation and processing techniques of medicinal plants. In her spare time she loves to create gardens, hike and “botanize”, play in the water, and eat good food with fine friends.
In February 2008, Bellingham Parks and Recreaction staff issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to determine the fate of the Caretaker's House at the former Rose Garden in Fairhaven Park. Surprisingly no proposals were received before the RFP deadline, and the house was being considered for demolition. South Neighborhood residents approached the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Advisory board in April 2008 and were successful in getting a second RFP issued.
While this effort was initiated by South Neighborhood Association members, our numbers grew quickly as word spread of the potentially imminent removal of the house from the Fairhaven Park site. A proposal team worked quickly to meet the July 1 deadline. Our proposal, in PDF form.
We interviewed with a Parks led evaluation team in August, and our proposal was unanimously approved by Bellingham City Council on September 8, 2008.
Since that time we have been busy with the numerous tasks of forming a nonprofit corporation; adopting bylaws, electing board officers, setting committee assignments, and getting a bank account.
Meanwhile, the City of Bellingham is drafting a lease agreement along with a Memorandum of Understanding which will guide our future efforts. We anticipate signing a lease by the end of the year (2008).
At this time our efforts are focused on developing our fundraising strategy. We will host an invitational open house on December 4 at the Fairhaven Library to bring community leaders together to review our progress to date. To raise immediate funds, volunteers have designed and built commemorative planter boxes, complete with seed packets and decorative pots, which will be sold at the Farmers Market and in the Fairhaven business district on Saturdays through the holiday season.
Other committees are beginning the process of making plans to renovate the Caretaker's House, design and install the demonstration gardens, and explore all the programming options we could imagine. Any day now we expect to gain access and begin cleaning up the Caretaker's House, which has been lying dormant since 1999.
We have been overwhelmed with support for preserving a viable community asset and look forward to working together to realize our collective dreams. We hope you will join us as we move ahead.