July E-News

posted by Fresno Metro Ministry
on 10 July 2015

Bring your Imagination to First Better Blackstone Festival!


The Better Blackstone Association is growing and wants to capture YOUR imagination about how amazing our city's backbone corridor can be!

On August 7, we invite you to the first Imagine Blackstone Festival at Susan B. Anthony School from 5-8 pm. Let's come together to use our talents, skills, creativity and resources to imagine new and exciting changes to the Blackstone we all know and love.

Blackstone neighbors of all ages, in three neighborhoods along the corridor, have already begun to imagine and examine their own areas throughout the summer. They will be sharing their findings through a photography display at the Festival. This "Photovoice / Fotovoz" project highlights the healthy and unhealthy aspects of our daily lives and living environment.

Plus, there will be local food trucks, entertainment, cooling stations, fun games and activities for the whole family!

If you are a Blackstone resident or business (or even just someone with a special place in your heart for Blackstone) with a talent, skill, good or service you'd like to share at this fun event, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (559) 485-1416 ext 103.  

SE Fresno Residents Doing their Part to Conserve Water


As you know, California is in the worst drought the state has ever faced and the most severe levels of drought are right here in the Central Valley. You've heard the statistics and may have heard the arguments over which industry uses the most water and what use is more valuable. Regardless of the politics, the drought is real and it is our duty to do our part to conserve.

As residents, there are many ways we can reduce water consumption. However, the most impactful reduction in water use, that won't impact your daily routine, is to decrease landscaping irrigation. And rest assured, "Going Brown" doesn't mean you have to live without color!

Here is how one Fresno family decided to make an impact...Rocky and Adrienne in Southeast Fresno quickly recognized that the city's mandated 2-day a week watering schedule wasn't going to be enough to keep their beautiful lush lawn alive. They had large areas of fescue lawn, nearly a third of an acre, in the front and back yards. Fescue is a cool season grass, but despite being a drought and shade tolerant grass, it quickly dies without daily watering during Fresno's summer months. They decided it was more important to save their shade trees and plants rather than the lawn.

Over the last year, without hiring a landscape designer, they made a commitment to transforming their front and back yards into a drought tolerant landscape that is both beautiful and water-wise!


They paid their gardeners to remove the lawns and assist with installation of the larger drought tolerant plantings but Rocky and Adrienne essentially made the transition themselves with a little elbow grease and vision- and most importantly, dedication to doing their part in this time of drought.

Eliminating 28 pop-up sprinklers and converting 10 of them to support drip irrigation has allowed these drought fighters to keep the trees and redesign the space to a pleasing drought tolerant front and back yard. The total cost for the project has come in at $2,500 and they estimate a 50% decrease in their household water use!

As we move closer toward the hottest time of the year, and the inevitable increase in the cost of water, these Fresnans took a proactive stance to do what they could to address the drought at home.

For more information on how you can have a positive impact on your water consumption, check out the resources below.

Lawn-to-Garden     Native Landscapes    City of Fresno 

Rock Stars of Sustainable Ag

Last month, Metro's Community Food Systems program and the UC Cooperative Extension Fresno County, along with six small scale Hmong farmers, had a tremendous opportunity to visit Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, CA. The educational tour focused on the soil building and water saving techniques of this unique mixed vegetable operation.

The proprietors, Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser, farm 3-acres without the use of machines or chemicals. By concentrating on increasing Soil Organic Matter, managing native habitat to increase biodiversity and utilizing an intensive cropping system, the Kaisers and their four full-time employees have increased their yields up to 10 times that of their organic counterparts throughout the state and increased their gross income to an average of $100,000 per acre per year. They are truly Rock Stars of Sustainable Agriculture right now.

The tour provided a hands-on understanding of how independent farmers can manage highly productive small scale farms without the use of expensive machinery and harmful chemicals, and make a better living than most current mainstream models allow.

To learn more about Singing Frogs Farm, read the Drought Fighter article below.


Upcoming Events


Mindful Parenting: Nurturing with Love & Wisdom

 Tuesday, July 14

 7 - 9 pm

 Fresno County Office of Education- Rm 101T 

Downtown Fresno Mariposa Plaza Activation Project

 Tuesday, July 21

 5:30- 8 pm

T.W. Patterson Building- The Mezzanine Floor

CalFresh Advocacy Taskforce Meeting

Thursday, July 23

10:30 am - 12 pm

Fresno Metro Ministry- Conf. Rm. #217

CalFresh Outreach at Fresno City College

Thursdays, July 9 & 23, 2015

1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Main Water Fountain Area

CalFresh Outreach at Fresno City College

Tuesdays, July 14 & 28, 2015

9 am - 12 pm

Main Water Fountain Area

Movies in the Park and Backpack Giveaway

Friday, July 31

6:00 pm

Eaton Plaza, Downtown Fresno

To submit events to Metro's E-news, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by the first Monday of the month.

To Top