The North Fair Oaks Community Alliance (NFOCA) has started several projects, some in collaboration with other local, community based organizations serving the Peninsula. NFOCA wants to increase community participation to promote and support community activities that build unity and understanding of social, cultural, economic, environmental and health issues to attain equity and to empower residents to take ownership of some of the issues affecting North Fair Oaks. The following projects need your participation, so if you are interested in any of these, please email us to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out this volunteer application form to let us know how your skills and experience may help advance our organization’s needs and projects or what aspects of these projects interest you.
- Proyecto Mil Mascaras / Project One Thousand Masks: We are providing free face masks throughout North Fair Oaks to promote safety and help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections among residents. Our face masks have been commissioned to Ana Juarez, a local seamstress and resident of North Fair Oaks, who has graciously taken on the task of making our facemasks. For updates and photos, please check our Facebook page.
- Tree Planting and Reforestation in North Fair Oaks: We are collaborating in a reforestation effort, planting up to 260 trees free for North Fair Oaks residents in collaboration with a few partners from the Climate Ready North Fair Oaks, which is a coalition we have formed to study and act against the effects of climate change in our community. The trees are free and the nonprofit Canopy will plant and care for the trees for free for the first three years. Anyone from NFO who wants get a tree, or more information about this opportunity, can fill out this interest form. Our efforts emphasize reforestation on the Redwood City side of North Fair Oaks because it disproportionately lacks trees. We had tree planting events in North Fair Oaks in December of 2020 and in March of 2021, and we will be planning more events in the future.
- Bicycle Lanes and Pedestrian Walkways: We have been actively promoting the implementation of bicycle lanes throughout North Fair Oaks. Most of our board members have been advocating and actively participating in planning with the San Mateo County Public Works and with the Office of Sustainability to make this happen. While progress is slow, the Middlefield Road Redesign project is an accomplishment of such collaborations, and this project has already started. The project is supposed to be finalized by late 2022. For updates on this project, visit www.middlefieldroad.org
- North Fair Oaks Historical Archive: We plan to establish our community’s first historical archive to harvest and preserve anything and everything documenting the history of North Fair Oaks, its organizations, its businesses and its people. More details coming up soon.
- Environmental Curriculum for youth:
Members of NFOCA were able to organize the very first collaboration among community based organizations that reside in North Fair Oaks, including El Concilio of San Mateo County, the Siena Youth Center, the NFO Council and the Stanford Future Bay Initiative. One of the successes was implementing a new curriculum around the environment, teaching the youth from the Siena Youth Center about the effects that climate change can have in their communities and on their families. We intend to continue enhancing the curriculum to support a stronger emphasis on educating our youth, and as an extension also educate their families about the importance of the environment and climate change. We will provide here a full report and outcomes soon.
COMMUNITY EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
- NFOCA is working to implement a Block Action Team (BAT) for North Fair Oaks. A Block Action Team is a well-organized group of neighbors who help make a community safer and friendlier by connecting neighbors, offering emergency preparedness, and creating connections with county emergency services for efficient assistance. In a BAT Program, one neighbor represents each block and communicates with his/her block’s neighbors during a catastrophe or an emergency to provide information and support. For more information, visit our BAT page and sign up to be part of it.
- Identification of Shelters and Evacuation Routes: We want to identify and/or develop spaces that can serve as community shelters during emergencies. We are currently conducting interviews with NFO community members to gather opinions and ideas about clean air/cooling centers in NFO. Here is the information on how to participate in English and in Spanish. And we also want to have clearly identified evacuation routes in preparation for various emergencies like fires, flooding, heat waves, earthquakes and other contingencies and will maintain residents of NFO informed about the alternatives.
SOCIETY & CULTURE
- North Fair Oaks Unification Efforts: We are working on developing activities and actions to unify the various sections of North Fair Oaks, which have been traditionally separated by various factors like economic and educational levels, culture and language, zip code/city segmentation, as well as by physical barriers.
- Creation of a Cultural Center: We want to organize and attain a physical space that can work as a Cultural Center for the entire community of North Fair Oaks. While this may be a seemingly difficult challenge -considering the scarcity and costs of land and buildings- our organization wants to explore every alternative possible so that our community can have a space for arts and culture, classes and art practice and teaching, as well as exhibitions from local artists. Society and culture can hardly exist if there is not a central place for people to congregate and make art happen.
- North Fair Oaks Business Alliance: We would like to assist the North Fair Oaks business community to get organized and to form a business cohort for self-representation and promotion of their business interests.
NFOCA will continue identifying other projects and work with the community to establish priorities, to improve services, and to bring equity into our underserved community.