Commons to improve town corner

02/13/2014

The nonprofit On the Commons, which runs the downtown commons, will soon undertake a renovation to liven up the open space, much of which is now covered in wood chips, said Steve Costa, a co-chair of the project. The design for the renovation has not been finalized but will use permaculture techniques and include landscaping around the yellow house, ideally a garden featuring drought-resistant native plants; landscaping on the perimeter; solar panels on the yellow house; and water harvesting off a nearby building to provide succor. “It becomes, in part, a demo site,” Mr. Costa said. A paint job for the house is also likely, though the color will remain the same. They have raised about $2,000 of the $10,000 they need, and have also secured promises of in-kind contributions, like soil from Point Reyes Compost and plants from various nurseries. The renovations are scheduled to begin on Earth Day in April, hopefully with 40 or 50 volunteers pitching in. The nonprofit secured its first three-year lease for the space in 2011, after an effort that began in 2006 with Elizabeth Barnet and Jonathan Rowe. Mr. Rowe, a nationally published local writer who died in 2011, wrote extensively about the idea of the commons as a resource—open space, languages, the Internet—that provides a means of sharing information and facilitating community bonding outside commodity culture. The nonprofit also runs a website, westmarincommons.org, as well as a garden behind Cowgirl Creamery. A recent lease renewal of the downtown space sparked the group to plan a renovation for the downtown lot. Mr. Costa will speak about the project on Wednesday at a meeting of the West Marin Rotary Club at the Coast Guard Galley on Commodore Webster Drive, in Point Reyes Station. Breakfast is $8; R.S.V.P. to Michelle at (415) 482.3121.