Ken Capon: “We started the 2012 Commons Donor Drive with 23 years to pay off the mortgage; at this point in the campaign we have only 13 years to go. But if we doubled the regular monthly donations, we’d be able to pay off the mortgage in a mere six years”.
Gabriola Island’s Commons, 26 acres near the core of the island and part of the Agricultural Land Reserve, belongs not to a corporation, a private person, or government body, but to the people of Gabriola. It is held in trust by the Gabriola Commons Foundation. Secured by generous donors several years ago, the land is now stewarded by volunteers as a sustainable ecological and socio-cultural resource for all Gabriolans in perpetuity.
A charitable non-profit, the Gabriola Commons is a hands-on learning experience, where young and old work together to build the community self-sufficiency that is needed over the long haul (e.g., safe food supply, environmentally friendly building practices, and so on). The Commons functions democratically as a grassroots community organisation of people who are learning by doing, growing food for themselves, storing seeds, learning about water storage, clearing invasive species, and planning for the future (with trails, a community kitchen, large dining/meeting hall, and eventually a performing arts centre).
The Commons is “a place for everyone”. There are greenhouses, a tool shed, buildings, a Poetry Gabriola yurt, a labyrinth, trails, and grounds that provide opportunities to walk, garden, work, hold a meeting, or attend fairs, performances, and workshops.
Gabriolans value the Commons because of concerns for health, quality of life for future generations, or perhaps general anxiety about where society is headed. Others simply go there to enjoy themselves, the environment, or activities “in the moment”.
Ken Capon, on behalf of the Fundraising Team, is heading up a campaign to reduce the current Commons mortgage by increasing the number of monthly donors and hence the size of monthly payments to VanCity Credit Union. This will contribute directly to both paying less interest in the long run and make more money available to enhance Commons’ contributions to the people of Gabriola and the life we want on our island. Watch for Ken and his helpers in public places over the summer. Learn more about the Commons at www.gabriolacommons.ca.