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Cal Dominguez Hills plans Community Impact Day


Cal State California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) faculty, students, and staff will spend Feb. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at non-profit organizations in Los Angeles County cleaning, landscaping, gardening, and educating local residents about urban farming and art during CSUDH Community Impact Day.

Open to local volunteers, CSUDH Community Impact Day marks the beginning of Inauguration Week, a series of engaging campus- and community-based activities taking place Feb. 2-9 to celebrate a new era of the university under the leadership of Thomas A. Parham, who became the 11th president of CSUDH in July 2018.

The scheduled activities include:

The Growing Experience at the Carmelitos Housing Project in Long Beach, 750 Via Carmelitos. Volunteers will join residents of the Carmelitos Housing Project to prune, harvest, and clean The Growing Experience community garden. Volunteers also will visit neighboring communities to share information about the educational and health programs the garden offers free to the public.

Managed by the Housing Authority of L.A County, The Growing Experience aims to reduce Long Beach “food deserts” –typically economically disadvantaged neighborhoods with little access to fresh fruits and vegetables—by offering what it grows to those communities. The garden also provides locals residents and those living at the Carmelitos Housing Project educational and enrichment opportunities in the areas of nutrition, sustainability, solar energy, and aquaponics systems.

YWCA Child Development Center in Compton, 1600 E. Compton Blvd. CSUDH Jumpstart students will join YWCA Child Development Center staff and local volunteers to clean two preschool classrooms and build an outdoor herb/vegetable garden. Along with providing fresh produce, the garden will serve as an educational space for families to learn about growing and harvesting their own food and the importance of sustainability education. Children will also create and learn about educational activities that they can perform at home.

CSUDH’s Jumpstart for Young Children Program works with the Compton YWCA to help ensure preschoolers can read by the time they enter kindergarten. A primary goal of the Jumpstart program is to promote social justice to Compton youth by helping mitigate the educational disparities that act as barriers to social and economic mobility.

Cultivating Living Labs: Heritage Creek and the Urban Farm at the campus physical plant,  1000 E. Victoria St. The campus community and local volunteers will be replanting native species, rebuilding the main walking trail, and removing weeds and spreading mulch around native flora in CSUDH’s Heritage Creek, a public bioswale designed to provide bio-filtration of storm water used for native habitat. The creek is available to the public for research activities. Additional volunteers will spend the morning repainting the CSUDH’s Urban Farm nursery shed, building vertical garden towers, maintaining student green waste compost piles, and laying a gravel entryway to the farm.

The beautification projects are hosted by the university’s Office of Sustainability, which works collaboratively with CSUDH stakeholders to promote and implement  sustainability practices across campus.

Stevenson Park in Carson: Transforming the Community through Art, 17400 Lysander Dr., in Carson. Volunteers will assist art students and professors with the Praxis Studio at CSUDH in facilitating a CSUDH Family Art Day at Stevenson Park. Family Art Day is open to the entire community and will feature a variety of art and design projects that youth in the community can enjoy in a new after school program in city parks called PRAXIS City ArtS Parks in partnership between CSUDH and the City of Carson in celebration of Carson’s 50th anniversary.

Praxis Studio is an extracurricular, cross-disciplinary art engagement program that brings artists, designers, students, and community members together to explore the history, social conditions, neighborhoods, and storylines of South Los Angeles. Praxis Studio was created and co-founded by Devon Tsuno, assistant professor in CSUDH’s Art and Design Department, and L.A.-based interdisciplinary project Big City Forum through a $40,000 Creative California Communities grant from the California Arts Council.