The 2016 Regional Barnraising was hosted in Val Verde, CA. Over 30 people gathered for this event and shared a weekend in active discussions, working on community planning, and even a bit of time balloon mapping. It should be noted that this is the first ever Barnraising that was hosted in an actual barn!
It was also the first Barnraising where we were able to incorporate translation. People who spoke both Spanish and English put special banners on their name tags and made themselves to help with translation whenever it was needed.
While there were many issues and ideas discussed during the event, one of the main themes was the local Chiquita Canyon Landfill. Several sessions including power mapping, working with federal agencies and balloon mapping highlighted the issues the community of Val Verde has had in the struggle against the local landfill.
We started Saturday out with a meet and greet. While a number of participants came locally from Val Verde, there were also people coming in from the Central Valley, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Diego. Everyone was able to meet a number of new people and introduce them to the group to get the ball rolling. This brought to light many of the with different backgrounds and interests we all had. The marketplace brought out a number of good session ideas including, soil testing, aquatics regulations, community power mapping and race readings. After a yummy lunch, we got right to sessions.
Saturday sessions included:
- Soil testing
- Aquatics Regulations
- Smell evidence
- Working with federal agencies
- Community power mapping
- Race Readings
- Working with the media
- Exide Cleanup.
Sunday started bright and early with a Balloon Mapping session. We even picked up new participants along the way. Amazing what a big red balloon can do! Other sessions on Sunday included a long session on Community Next Steps on the landfill issue and a final session on alternative to landfilling. This session also included participants going through the waste from the two day event and working to divert it from a landfill death.