Sustainable Solano is a grassroots, countywide movement uniting people through work that serves Solano County to promote ecologically sustainable, economically and socially just communities in a world that works for everyone. Our decades of dedicated community work started with community gardens and has grown to include an emphasis on creating sustainable, regenerative environments, community capacity building, supporting local food systems and building workforce skills for a better future.
We seek to promote ecologically sustainable, economically and socially just communities in a world that works for everyone through nurturing initiatives for the good of the whole.
Green Infrastructure: Our green infrastructure work started with Benicia Community Gardens and has grown through our Sustainable Backyards program creating food forest gardens that incorporate the use of secondary household water and rainwater. We are growing beyond single backyards to create urban forests and public gardens and launching our Resilient Neighborhoods program to put regenerative efforts to use on a community-wide scale.
Local Food: We have a vision for an environmentally and economically sustainable, equitable local food system that supports local growers by increasing access to the food they grow. We have multiple local food activities: CSA deliveries, cooking classes, community education, and bringing together chefs and community members around creating wholesome, nutritious meals.
Workforce Development: We plan a comprehensive standard curriculum for high school students, followed by hands-on training and certification. We are also developing programs for landscaping professionals to gain knowledge and certification on real projects that will benefit communities.
Sustainable Solano has installed nearly 30 sustainable, waterwise, edible gardens around the county that save roughly 1.9 million gallons of water annually and provide fresh, local food to communities. We have had thousands of participants in workshops and events to bring skills and ideas back to their homes and communities. We have helped area growers bring their produce to Solano County residents.
While Sustainable Solano's work focuses on building sustainable landscapes, supporting local food and helping the next generation to think sustainably, what our work ultimately comes down to is building connections within communities. Through working together to improve communities and the environment, life-long friendships form, support networks grow and people are tied to something that reaches beyond themselves. As one of our food forest keepers noted about her experience with Sustainable Solano: "Sustainable Solano at its heart: new beginnings, bittersweet farewells, growth, discoveries, pain, loss, resilience, passions, yearnings and desires — the humans and the gardens that wove them all together. The belief that through earth care, human care, and fair share, we can sustain and fill each other up."
Fundraising would raise seed money toward the $50,000 needed to support ongoing Listening Circles to help us gather feedback from our local communities for more targeted, neighborhood-specific needs assessment and measuring community interest. This will help us pinpoint which of the above programs best fit the local community and help guide future programming and funding.