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Bill Rosendahl - Council District 11






Monday, August 14, 2006

Mar Vista Farmers' Market

Mar Vista is a community of action! They are proof that when people work together, magnificent things happen!

About 4 years ago, the Urban Planning Committee, a branch of the Mar Vista Community Council, decided to look into the idea of a local farmers' market. Lorraine Wells and Joseph Treves, visited many other markets in the area, gathering information, talking to market managers, and looking at the viability of a market in Mar Vista. Then, about 6 months ago, the Farmers Market Sub-Committee reorganized as a 501 (c)(3) and become a separate entity in order to properly handle preparations and financial matters.

An amazing board of community activists spent countless volunteer hours fund-raising, getting permits, finding a market manager and vendors! All the necessary pieces were put together, and viola, on Sunday, August 6th, the Mar Vista Farmer's Market opened. It didn't just open...it OPENED!

I arrived at 8am to watch the set up, and by 8:30, there were already at least a hundred people, waiting to buy the beautifully displayed produce, flowers, and delectable prepared food. By 9:30 am, Grandview Ave was crammed with busy shoppers. The shoppers were delighted and by the time Councilman Rosendahl arrived at 10am, the street was packed. People were congratulating the board members, the Councilman and each other. The board estimated that about 2500 people came through the market on opening day. The wonderful market manager, Ted Galvan, who also manages the Santa Monica Farmer's Market, said he hasn't seen such a "grand" opening like this before.

Councilman Rosendahl presented certificates of recognition to the board members, who worked tirelessly to make this happen: Lorraine Wells, Joseph Treves, Demetrios Mavromichalis, Jolie Chitwood, Allison Copeland, Ian Votteri and Michael Lucas. He thanked Tom Ponton, founder and outgoing President of the Mar Vista Community Council, and Rob Kadota, the incoming President.

Then, to jumpstart efforts to promote and improve Mar Vista, Councilman Rosendahl presented a check for $100,000 to the Venice Boulevard Streetscape Improvement Association, for community-led efforts to beautify Venice Boulevard.

Steve Wallace, who accepted the check for the community, had a booth at the farmer's market to get community input on the type of trees that are being suggested to put in along the medians on Venice Blvd. Steve's booth was consistently crowded with residents participating in their community plans.

The beautification project consists of several components focused on revitalizing the busy corridor. Immediate plans include installing 22 decorative trash cans, trimming 154 trees, and beautifying the Venice Boulevard median.

This community effort will help with the ever expanding commercial corridor along Venice. It's so encouraging to see what the business owners have done to revitalize the area and how actively they contribute, in time and money, to the overall benefit of the community.

If you weren't there, I encourage you to visit any Sunday, from 9am - to 1pm. It's a feel-good environment, and a great place to stock up on fresh food, and meet the incredible community of Mar Vista.

-Laurie Sale

Special Projects Deputy


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