Groveland Community Resilience Center Groundbreaking Ceremony July 13, 2021


Remarks by Tuolumne County District 4 Supervisor Kathleen Haff

Today is a day of commemoration. I tend to think of life symbolically. This construction, now underway for the Groveland Community Resilience Center, can be likened to the gestation period for a baby. Although… it will take a bit longer than 9 months! The physical structure, the center itself, is in the process of creation right here in this spot. 

However, this process actually started long ago when many of you came together to begin the planning process. The goals that you set for the Groveland Resilience Center were incorporated into the design. 

In a nutshell, what you, the Groveland citizen planners envisioned was a facility that:

  • fosters social cohesion, 
  • provides a variety of services, programs and outreach efforts, 
  • is a place to learn new skills, 
  • or celebrate an event 
  • or to connect with others.

So, in about a year, this building complete with beautiful grounds and an expansive parking lot will be finished and birthed into this world. Like any good parent or guardian, it is up to us to be the best caretaker possible. How will we nurture the wellbeing of this new facility? This is a question for each of you to ponder in the months ahead…

What do we want this Center to BE in our world? 

Fortunately, we have some time to prepare. Last week, I asked a handful of thoughtful community members what they envisioned for this center, 

Here is a sampling of the inspiring thoughts I received…

  • From Shirley: The Resilience Center represents a “Coming of Age” for our community. Groveland plays a vital part in the economic success of our County. I hope to see Groveland recognized more fully for the availability and quality of events and activities that will be hosted here…and to see more of our neighbors and friends in this new gathering place.
  • From Rick: I’d like to see a much-needed facility for residents who would suffer the most and seek relief from hot spells, cold spells and planned or non-planned power outages. Also, I envision the Center as the new venue for this community’s annual Thanksgiving Day Feast! A tradition that has been going on for 35 years.
  • From Virginia: We will enjoy having a real community center with meeting rooms, heating and air conditioning and a good place for The Little House – Southside Community Connections activities. I’d like to see educational offerings as well. This week also highlights the need for a cooling center!
  • From Catherine:  The Resilience Center will provide a safe haven for our community members during emergency situations and give them peace of mind. In addition, it will be a center where classes, programs and events can take place. This long-awaited Gathering Place will be a benefit to all.
  • From Pete: I would like to see more food grown and food products produced locally and the Resilience Center’s commercial kitchen will be a wonderful way to encourage that.  Also, since this Resilience Center came about as the result of the Rim Fire, I am hopeful that classes and lectures will be offered on topics related to fire, for example: fire-preparedness, fire-protection and even fire-fighting.
  • From Luci: This Community Resilience Center marks a new chapter in Groveland and in the services and resources that will be available to people living in the Groveland/Big Oak Flat area.  We at Southside Community Connections look forward to working with the county to make this facility a vibrant, functioning part of our community and hope we never have to actually use it during a disaster or emergency. But we’re glad it will be here for us, should one occur.
  • And finally, Joy states: #1 on my wish list is community communication: person to person! We get more information, connection and comfort directly from another human. This place needs to be a connection point for whatever is needed: Food, Transportation, Medical and Music! I believe a really good bakery is the center of the universe. And the warm heart of every successful town I’ve ever lived in, is a bakery, where people naturally gravitate. Resilience is dependent on the condition of the heart. The want and will. With basic needs met, good food and friends, resilience abounds. The community center needs to be like this!

Now 🡪This project would not be possible without the congenial partnership between the County and Groveland Community Services District. I would like to thank GCSD’s Board and staff for their generous donation of their parcel of land. Would the GCSD Board and staff currently present please stand? <Applause> It is my intention to continue strengthening and deepening our collaboration with one another to accomplish even greater things for the Groveland area – whether it be for increased fire preparedness, working together to build more trails, or ___you fill in the blank! And…I would like to hear your ideas!!

All throughout the development of this facility, we have had one leader, one constant companion guiding each phase of this process, kind of like a mid-wife who ensures the well-being and vitality of a healthy baby when it is born. At this time, I would ask Maureen Frank to come up to the podium, so she can be acknowledged and recognized for all her years of service and devotion to the birth of this new creation: The Groveland Community Resilience Center!

Thank you all for being here, for witnessing and acknowledging the importance of this new center, and for your continued collaboration in making this gathering place a magnet for resilience, community-building and connection.