On Thursday (March 20th) at 12.30pm a local Bainbridge community group will be joining the Grow team to honor those that lived or grew up along Government Way (John Adams) on what is now the Grow Community property. The ceremony will be held on the current basketball court (behind house 370) on John Adams and then move to the American Legion Hall.
The ceremony will last 30 to 45 minutes and include short stories from each of the following:
Grow Family – Jon Quitsland
Japanese Community – Kay Nakao
Military Community – TBD
Grow Community’s Future – Greg Lotakis
The ceremony was initiated between the Grow Team and a Bainbridge community group lead by Karen Vargas, out of a desire to honor the early Japanese Community in this area of the island as well as those families and Military Veterans that made the Government Way housing their home, and to capture the stories of those that spent time in this place.
An early historical record/study was commissioned (Quitsland report) during the planning process for the Grow project to inform us about the history of the area. While the report touches only the tip of the iceberg, much of the history is rich with food production and community – two of the major themes for our new development. The Grow Family homesteaded in the area and on the property we are developing. What was once a strawberry field will again be home to fruit trees and garden beds. The next 5 acre phase of the project alone will have 3 acres of open space that will be mixed with fields, orchards, and light forest groves.
The history of this site teaches us that the area was rich with community connection. The beauty in our recent work with Karen and others is the richness of the place in community and the stories we plan to tell andpreserve. The military families and the Japanese community who touched this land each provide a glimpse into the past. Our intent is that the Grow neighborhood will honor the past by creating a renewed connection to community through the land. In our opinion, too often new development disregards these connections to each other, therebylimiting opportunities to create a sense of place.
We are working toward a way to share the stories once the Grow neighborhood is complete. We are currently considering telling the story in a variety of formats within our new community center and through interpretive signage throughout the property.
Some other worthy notes include:
1/ All play equipment will be collected by BI Parks Department for future reuse
2/ Small items from the homes/site will be saved by the community group focused on historical honoring
3/ Reusable items in the homes will be salvaged and repurposed
4/ Remaining structures will be used for training by Fire & Police
5/ All demolition debris will be recycled where applicable
6/ House numbers will go with those that grew up in the homes
7/ Stories will be collected and kept with appropriate entity (City or Museum)