Costanoa Commons began with friendships between families whose disabled children range in age from 17-30. Knowing how important friendships are, we envision our adult children benefiting from living in the community, together with nondisabled people, sharing everyday life. Instead of further marginalizing them, we want to create opportunities for them to share who they are with others. We also firmly believe that caring relationships, just as for nondisabled people, are the key to their well-being and safety into the future. Professionals, neighbors, friends, and members of their faith communities have already volunteered to help start our urban farm. Some serve on our nonprofit Board of Directors, others on our Project Advisory Board. Their expertise and commitment to Costanoa Commons, its housing and community farm, is an invaluable component of our ability to realize our vision for the future of our children. They give us faith in a more hopeful future.
Our vision is to create an urban farm that will offer a meaningful place for people with and without developmental disabilities from the surrounding community to work, volunteer and socialize. Our community farm will offer farming skills training, employment, volunteer work, and recreation on a roughly four-acre organic farm, where high-quality food will be grown year-round. The farm will include aquaponics, the farming of plants and fish in a symbiotic system so that wheelchair users also can farm. We envision Costanoa Commons Farm as a sustainable social enterprise, where farm products are sold to local chefs and restaurants, at our farm stand, and through our CSA and contributed to local food banks. Eco-friendly features will be incorporated into all of our development. Relationships with the surrounding community are a high priority, offering opportunities for mutual relationships, employment, and recreation. We expect to be careful stewards of our historic parcel, including caring for its natural resources. Our property is located in Santa Cruz, CA, approximately three miles from the University of California, Santa Cruz.