Tag Archives: Community Groups

We came. We marched.

Yesterday afternoon we joined other citizens to march in the first-ever Occupy Tacoma event. We began the march at Fireman’s Park and walked all the way down Pacific Avenue to Tollefson Plaza. There we had a small rally and photo op. Marchers then continued on down Pacific, stopped to chant in front of the federal courthouse at the old Union Station, and moved on to the University of Washington Tacoma Campus. The march ended with another rally at Tollefson Plaza and the event ended around 6pm.

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Occupy Tacoma was an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, an event that has lasted for weeks. Citizens nationwide are now joining in the movement as the 99% of our society who is being abused by the 1%, the corporations, broken promises, war, and skyrocketing healthcare, among other things.

The march was peaceful and fun. We found support from motorists honking as they drove by and spectators looking on from windows high above. Occupy Tacoma organizers are planning more events, including a longer occupation.

Neither of us are particularly the protest type, but found this one important. It was an all-inclusive event and we fit right in. Try to catch the next one. Stand up. We are the 99%.

For more information, check out the Occupy Tacoma website.

Venture into 2nd Cycle

2nd Cycle is a hidden treasure of a resource for our community.

Hilltop’s 2nd Cycle is a wonderful community bicycle project. It is located in an alley along 11th Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South L Street. Nestled behind a few of Hilltop’s favorite resturants, Pho King and Le Le, and just around the corner from Pho Bac, it is a friendly place to go if you’re in need of bike parts or repair instruction.

Volunteers at 2nd Cycle works to be advocates for bicycling in Tacoma. They provide work space, tools, bicycling literature, and a staff who’s willing to help others learn how to fix and maintain their own bicycles. They offer low-cost bike parts, as well.

2nd Cycle is always looking for donations of unwanted bicycles and parts. They are able to maintain their space through donations and sales of refurbished bicycles and parts.

For more information about 2nd Cycle, check out their blog and Facebook page. They are open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays sometime around noon to six. Stop on in and see what they’ve got. Entering the space is an experience in itself.

Oh, and, someone at 2nd Cycle is an amazing artist. Their hand-drawn posters are awesome.

Hilltop Urban Gardens’ Petting Zoo

Last week on Thursday, Hilltop Urban Gardens (HUG) hosted a petting zoo at their farm on the corner of 19th and Ainsworth. The animals, brought by Raven’s Grove Family Farm in Shelton, were tiny reminders of how it’s possible to have farms and sustainable food sources right here in the city.

Hilltop neighbors, including kids from the Al Davies branch of the Boys and Girls Club, attended the event. Petting zoo visitors got to see and touch rabbits, pigs, ducks, and goats.

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Hilltop Urban Gardens is a wonderful addition to our neighborhood. Make sure to attend their other events. They work closely with the Boys and Girls Club and believe it is possible for everyone in our neighborhood to sustain themsleves through education and urban gardens.

We hope see the folks from Raven’s Grove Family Farm again soon. The petting zoo was fun. Our daughter’s still talking about it.

Arts Night Out on Hilltop

Last night we got to meet many of our neighbors when we attended Hilltop Arts Night Out at Jason Lee Middle School. The event was part of the larger National Night Out event that took place countrywide.

Hilltop Arts Night Out included a disc jockey, an urban art stencil station where participants could make their own prints or tee-shirts, and a chalk contest area outside. Tacoma supporter and digital billboard opponent Britton Sukys worked on a chalk piece much of the time alongside C.L.A.W. (Cartoonists League of Absurd Washingtonians) illustrator James Stowe. Inside, Hilltop Artists demonstrated their glass blowing craft and shared their work with a gallery of student pieces for sale. There was also food–lots of it.

Dancers, singers, and spoken-word artists from Hilltop’s D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts performed. Two candidates for the Tacoma School Board, Karen Vialle and Dexter Gordon, mingled with the crowd and spoke to the audience. Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist attended to talk with King 5 News about the positive changes the Hilltop neighborhood has made over the years.

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Many community business and organizations supported this event:

Masa of Tacoma
D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts
Hilltop Safeway
Dean Allen Catering
Stadium Thriftway
Gray Lumber
Hilltop Garden Project

Make sure to check out the Hilltop Artists website, as they have more events planned this year. Don’t miss the Hip Hop Urban Music Festival and parade here at People’s Park on August 13. The parade is from 10 am – noon and the festivities will take place from noon – 7 pm.

Some Cuts Don’t Heal

Community Health Care workers, joined by Hilltop community members, staged a rally and march in the heart of Hilltop along Martin Luther King Jr. Way Thursday. Participants carried signs, noisemakers, and smiles.  One of the signs read, “Some Cuts Don’t Heal.”

Participants rallied against unfair budget cuts to healthcare. The event began at 6 pm in Hilltop’s People’s Park with a protest, followed by a walk down MLK to the new Hilltop Regional Health Center spot at 1202 MLK Jr. Way. There they chanted, “Hey hey ho ho, healthcare cuts have got to go.”

Community Health Care supporters of all ages participated in the rally and march.

Following the rally at the new Community Health Care building, workers and community members marched back to People’s Park chanting, “Ain’t no power like the power of the people and the power of the people don’t stop.” They left some of their signs on the building to leave a lasting statement.

Following the rally at the new location, supporters left their signs on the building.

You can find more information about the rally at the Stand. Check out Community Health Care’s website to learn more about the new Hilltop Regional Health Center, including information about the August 9, 2011, groundbreaking ceremony.

Lucky Find: Hand Blown Hilltop Artists Bowls

A few weeks ago we stumbled across an advertisement on Craigslist that we could not ignore. A lady on Bainbridge Island was selling glass bowls that were hand blown by Hilltop Artists in 2003. We felt it was only right to make the drive to bring them home.
When we arrived at her beautiful home in the middle of the woods, we learned that the bowls were much bigger than we could have imagined. And they were special. She had worked for Hilltop Artists at the time they were created and they were gifts to her. She said that working for Hilltop Artists was her first “real” job after college and that these two bowls were just a few from her collection.

The two hand blown glass bowls were made in 2003 by Hilltop Artists.

Both bowls have minor imperfections, but that’s what we expect from students learning to perfect their craft. We feel so fortunate to have these little pieces of history in our home.

Students involved in Hilltop Artists have been making glass pieces for over fifteen years. It is an organization that benefits at-risk youth and was created with the help of artist Dale Chihuly. The program has grown to include three area schools. Students can participate during the school day and after school at Jason Lee Middle School and Wilson High School and after school at Franklin Pierce School District’s Ford Middle School. There is also a six-week summer program.

Hilltop Artists has periodic glass sales at Jason Lee Middle School. All proceeds from the glass sales go to help fund the program and provide scholarships for participating students. The next glass sale is Saturday, June 11. Check their website for more information.

The bottom of the red bowl reads "Happy Birthday 2003 Hilltop Artists."

The bottom of the purple bowl reads "Hilltop Artists 2003."

Will we keep the bowls? We don’t know, but we know for sure that we won’t sell them. 

Every once in a while the time is right to pass on a unique item. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for a worthy charity auction or someone who needs gifts from the past.

Plots Available at Hilltop House Garden

Hilltop House Garden, a community garden at the corner of South 19th and Yakima, has plots available for this growing season.

Hilltop House Garden is a community garden on a privately owned hillside lot.

The garden overlooks much of Tacoma, including the University of Washington Tacoma campus, the port, and beyond. The property includes an orchard at the top and garden plots at the bottom. Gardeners gain access by entering through a gate in the alley below.

Access to the garden is through a gate at the bottom of the property.

Hilltop House Garden is administered through a collaboration between the Guadalupe Land Trust and St. Leo’s Food Connection. It has eleven plots. Gardners must be from Hilltop and agree to help care for the property, including the area around the plots and the orchard. Guadalupe Land Trust’s mission is to “acquire and preserve green spaces in our Hilltop Community. [They] believe [their] gardens will help connect neighbors to one another, nourish and sustain [Hilltop’s] ethnic diversity, and serve as an educational opportunity for [Hilltop’s] young and older community members while providing a place to grow nutritious food. Saint Leo’s Food Connection works to eliminate hunger by providing food to those in need in Tacoma and throughout Pierce County. Their mission states: “We believe that God, out of love, has created a world where there is enough food for everyone. We believe that because of this, everyone has a right to enough food.”

Other Hilltop-area community gardens include:

*Gallucci Learning Garden at the corner of South 14th and G.
*Neighbors Park Garden at South 8th and I.
*McCarver/Zina Linnick Community Garden adjacent to McCarver Elementary at 2111 South J Street.
*Leo’s Garden adjacent to St. Leo’s properties at South 14th and Yakima.
*La Grande Garden, close to Hilltop House Garden and also managed by Guadalupe Land Trust, at South 18th and G.

It’s just about time to begin planting seeds. Interested in tending a plot at Hilltop House Garden? Inquire at (253) 327-1710. For more information about community gardens in Tacoma, visit Tacoma-Pierce County’s Grow Local website. You can also visit the City of Tacoma website for additional community garden information and gardening workshop opportunities.