Point Molate: Conserving Hope

I’ve been involved with a little chunk of Richmond California shoreline since 2006. I was employed by the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society to work as an advocate for local conservation.

Since that time period, I’ve spent many days breathing and learning from this Molate block property. As a former Naval Fuels Depot, this land is scarred. It has been dug, paved, scraped and much more. But what I continue to see on this landscape is a remarkable resilience. Many plants here have persisted despite no active management. The invasives are extensive, but they can be managed and native coastal prairie, toyon woodland and coyote brush scrub will recover with little stewardship pushes.

Some developers have sniffed dollar bills in these hills. McMansions, gated communities and a bone for “lower income” people might be one way to describe their proposals. They’ll happily mention the historic Winehaven (which is truly remarkable), but I don’t think it needs 1,200 new homes in order to save it. I think most economic analysts would agree with that.

How do we prioritize these incredible habitats, close to urban areas, and rich with biodiversity? How do we balance the need of a City which often fails to deliver basic community needs regularly? When has privatizing a potential public benefit led to greater good for the impacted community? What type of process is fair to the citizens of Richmond and how where do the plants, wildlife and fishes get a say in process?

I’m sure I can’t fully answer this question, but I do have strong ideas that we need a balanced, community driven process, not one spearheaded by a Mayor who has a tattered history with negotiating on behalf of the greater community while realizing the tactics of the influential (and rich) developers.

Below is a taste of Point Molate. Filming was completed over a couple of years and has only deepened my love for this enigmatic place.

The Journey Begins: Greater Than Image

Thanks for joining me in this endeavor. I appreciate your patience as we search for the path that best suits our vision and goals.

This company is built out of the idea that we will all be happier when we’re more connected thru our work, our vision and our creativity. One aspect of our work is to create art and media that we hold with pride: sometimes that pride comes from the product, some times the process to creating the product, some times the relationship and may more of often than not, the acceptance of failure and using it as a tool to keep us alive and inspired.

As we connect through our work, it is critical to find ways to share our journey, our art, that are meaningful, inclusive, and personal. If we can some how manage to do this, we can build community, connection, and happiness.

So as we create art through > Image, we hope to move forward with three important guidelines in mind:

  1. Build understanding through clear communication of intentions, involvement, goals, and know that this may take some time.
  2. Create only if you can see a light of inspiration and the mostly understand the impact of your work.
  3. Results must be measured across multiple disciplines: community value, integrity, experiential learning and personal development, quality of product/service, value of the product/service, and future engagement value.

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. — Winston Churchill

There’s more to come, we’re working on a plan that will guide us towards some initial targets.