May 10, 2012 in Washington Voices

West Central to host workshops

By The Spokesman-Review
Resilience Week kickoff

The weeklong West Central gathering kicks off Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Salem Lutheran Church, 1428 W. Broadway Ave.

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To say there’s a lot going on in West Central next week is an understatement. The city of Spokane has declared the week of May 13-19 Neighborhood Resiliency Week, and there’s a long list of events in West Central focusing on bringing positive, sustainable change to the neighborhood.

“The whole idea originally was to take one neighborhood and focus energy on that and its residents, provide them with information and tips on how to make better decisions,” said lead organizer Patrick Malone. “How do you control energy consumption when you rent your home and can’t replace the old furnace? How do you make better choices? How do you plant a garden when you can’t tear out the lawn to do it?”

Every day during Resiliency Week there will be workshops and focus groups, speakers and presentations dealing with themes such as growing more food in backyard gardens, making homes more energy efficient and providing better nutrition by learning how to cook healthy foods or how to build up a community kitchen.

Malone said the best way to get an idea of what’s going on and to sign up for workshops is to come to the kickoff event on Sunday.

“There will be a big rundown and layout of everything that’s going on throughout the week. People can ask questions and sign up for and talk to those who lead the workshops,” said Malone.

Workshops on a proposed time bank, how to save energy simply in any home, and how to better access and eat local food are sprinkled throughout the week. Workshops are limited to 18 participants.

West Central Resiliency Convergence has also joined the first ever Food Revolution Day, a project started by chef, author and TV personality Jamie Oliver, who dedicates May 19 to get people to think about where their food comes from and to get them back into their kitchens.

Malone said West Central, like many other inner-city neighborhoods, is struggling with poverty, high obesity and diabetes rates and high food bank use, so those are some of the issues that will be addressed in the workshops.

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