My name is Carmen De Loera. I have been a resident of the Avenue since 2001. I am a mother of 3 children and I have 2 grandchildren. I am very happy to be part of this community. I met Jackie, the director of WCDC, at a Neighborhood Cleanup event that WCDC was doing on my street. That connection was the door to new opportunities for me and my family.
Mi nombre es Carmen De Loera. He sido una residente de la Avenida desde 2001. Soy madre de 3 hijos y tengo 2 nietos. Estoy muy feliz de ser parte de esta comunidad. Conocí a Jackie, la directora de WCDC en un evento de una limpieza del vecindario que estaba haciendo en mi calle, y esa conexión fue la puerta que se abrió para nuevas oportunidades para mí y mi familia.
The WCDC is excited to launch the Avenue Ambassador Pilot Program starting Monday, March 25th. Our new ambassador is Angela Carradine– learn more about her below. You will find her circulating Ventura Avenue to assist residents and businesses with creating a safe and clean Westside.
What an awesome bunch of entrepreneurs at our first-ever business mixer! ~ Que tremendo grupo de comerciantes en nuestra noche de conexiones de negocios!
We are excited to announce that Downtown Ventura Partners has worked on our behalf with the city to expand their ambassador program (the red shirts on bikes) up the Avenue to Kellogg Park. On April 24th, we hosted a small meeting to ask businesses how the WCDC could help them thrive. Westside businesses told us that the most critical challenge they face are issues related to vagrancy behaviors.
It's here, it's here! Our newest addition to the Westside community has arrived. Like a newborn child, our long- awaited Kellogg Park is now available for us to view, marvel, love, and protect. We have anxiously waited 8 hopeful years for this day to come and we couldn't be more delighted. Kellogg Park has exceeded our expectations in its public and private support, the community's reception, and its smart design, which was mastered by Pacific Coast Land Design. Since the ribbon- cutting ceremony the park has been full of active residents, neighbors, and visitors of all ages all hours of the day. This simply says it all!!
Kellogg Park has a wonderful "Westside Story". Its origin starts with a local resident voicing her visions and hopes for the once empty lot on Kellogg Street and Ventura Avenue to become a neighborhood park. She was concerned about the lack of accessible green space in her Avenue community, and the strong need for an outdoor venue for neighbors and friends to gather in a highly visible, walking-distance, and safe location. She addressed this need in February of 2010 at a Westside Community Council meeting. The reception of the vision was met with agreement but obviously doubted since this particular land was slated for development and was also privately owned. However, the seed was planted and as she likes to say, "a snowball was created and I just added more and more to the snowball until the momentum of this enormous collection of park supporters was unstoppable".
Ventura County Public Health was the first to host meetings for park concepts and formation. The organization CAUSE, led by Miguel Rodriguez, also began to host meetings with Westside's Spanish speakers to talk about local needs. Eventually the two merged at the Westside Community Council, where Jackie Pearce took on the newly formed "Park Sub-Committee". It was not a hard sell to make to residents and the many Westside supporters that a park was needed in the community. The list of park advocates kept growing and growing. However, what WAS challenging was finding the funds to not only purchase the land but also design and build a park at the Kellogg lot, and convince taxpayers that this park would not add to the city's maintenance costs. Residents, WCC, CAUSE, and Westside partners and advocates attended many, many, and many more meetings to plead their case before Ventura’s City Council.
THANKFULLY, the voice of the community was heard, and by 2012, under the leadership of City of Ventura's Elena Brokaw, aKellogg Park Working Group was formed. Then, miraculously, the non-profit Trust for Public Land was directed to the Kellogg Park Working Group and a dynamic and successful partnership was established and set forth. These two groups charged the way in land purchase, grant proposals, town hall workshops, design selection, equipment selection, interim land usage, maintenance and safety concerns, donation and sponsorship campaigns, marketing, and so much more. And always, the WCC, led extraordinary chairs like Lori Steinhauer; and the Westside residents standing strong in their support and donating exceeding amounts of volunteer hours for event planning, endless meetings, and fundraising campaigns including the most recent Flush Fund campaign for the Portland Loo.
There cannot be enough gratitude expressed about the role all these different entities: City of Ventura, TPL, Pacific Coast Landscape, the many partners, donors, park advocates, and local residents took on in the creation of Kellogg Park. Led by exceptional and persistent individuals who believe in the work that they do and/or the community in which they reside, Kellogg Park has now birthed into reality and we are all so perfectly pleased.
I am a Changemaker. Although labels are not my favorite, this one I accept readily.
Last July, a beautiful human I knew passed away. His name was Paul Herzog. I took my grief for my beautiful friend & channeled it to what he would love most…an Ocean Friendly Garden. Words do not do justice to show what good he did, but suffice it to say, he was a true asset to Ventura and this Earth and he is missed by so very many people.