We have had a busy couple of months and have lots of things in the works – from the San Jacinto Farm to art programs, there are some exciting things going on!
The holiday season gave us an opportunity to partner with the Amarillo Police Department and volunteers from the community to get a dozen bikes cleaned up, repaired, and out into good hands. We are now looking at doing that on a regular basis and possibly having a small repair shop in San Jacinto for the neighborhood kids to come work on their own bikes or work toward earning a bike if they don’t have one yet. A shop like this would be a low-cost program that would teach kids about a lot more than just taking care of a bike.
As with all things, our plans often find themselves changing as circumstances arise. We had hoped to be farther along with the progress of the San Jacinto Farm, however the delay has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Our initial plans for the property on 6th & Belleview were good but, thanks to one of our board members (and his vision and skill), they are on a whole other level. The plans and drawings are being finalized, and while this has pushed our opening date to later this spring, it will be well worth it! Currently, all the asphalt has been ripped out and we are working on getting it hauled off as soon as possible. We will have a dedicated page up on the website as soon as we’re done with the plans and related content. Keep an eye out and get ready. Our friends over at Nuke City Veg are ready to roll and are currently growing and selling fresh organic produce from their current micro-farm. In a couple of months we’ll be able to provide a ton more to both restaurants and people looking to get locally grown, healthy, natural veggies. The beautiful thing about this project is that it will not just make sure people who can’t afford or don’t have good access to fresh produce can get it, it also supports the community development efforts through the produce sold to restaurants and the general public. You can eat good and do good at the same time…can’t beat that!
Square Mile started by looking at the development of a small, neighborhood market for San Jacinto that could provide affordable and good food, as well as jobs and educational programs. We are still actively working to make that happen and have been talking to various businesses and organizations to hammer out the business plan and location. As the Farm gets up and running, we will be pushing ahead full steam to get the market up. There is a great location we are looking at that would benefit the neighborhood, as well as a couple of organizations doing good things. We are working with these groups to plan out the cost and fundraising to make it happen.
The final little project I’ll highlight is totally different, but fits with our mission of bringing holistic revitalization and renewal. Some of our close friends in East Amarillo are doing great things for that part of the community, one of them being an arts academy. The academy would provide youth and community low cost (almost free where needed) classes in everything from music to painting, to dance and spoken word. We have been talking with them about helping build this up in East Amarillo, as well as offering classes in San Jacinto as well. We have a couple more organizations working with us to make it happen and we hope we can help bring a great cultural resource to families that might not be able to afford it otherwise.
In addition to these projects, there are a few other things we are actively exploring and/or working on. The needs are big, but the opportunity for good is bigger. Square Mile can’t do it all, but wherever we can help we will. If you would like to help us in any of these projects, or even partner with us in a different manner, drop us a line. As always, your financial support is crucial to making all this happen. You can help out by going to our home page and becoming a monthly supporter or with a one time donation. We appreciate all the love, support, and prayers…it’s what keeps us moving forward and pressing on!
We are community, and we are stronger when we work together.
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