Saturday, May 28, 2016

Welcome to Friends of Shady Acres

 "Save Shady Acres":  designed by Jenna Kress
Welcome to our new public blog, "Save Shady Acres," devoted to sharing information about the Shady Acres/Shady Brook Manufactured Home Park in Ellensburg, WA. On April 20, our community learned that the Kittitas County Board of Commissioners had executed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire Shady Acres from its current owners, with the plan of closing the park and evicting or "relocating" its residents. The County plan is then to construct a seasonal RV park on the land, to service the adjacent County Fairgrounds and Events Center, which hosts the annual rodeo.  Under state law, residents will have 12 months to vacate the property once the new owner announces plans to close the park; as of this writing we do not know when precisely the County will make that announcement.

Over 30 low income families, nearly all of them Latino/Mexicano reside in the park; at least 22 of them own their own manufactured homes, for which they worked hard, saving up over the years.  The predominant language in the park is Spanish. Adults primarily work in the agricultural sector; over 50 children reside in the complex, attending local schools.  Residents emphasize that they are a close-knot community that functions as an informal mutual aid-society, sharing resources and helping one another navigate the many challenges of modern American society.  They have formed their own organization, The Shady Acres Homeowner Association, and have explained they are committed to staying together as a community, ideally on the current Shady Acres property--where they are close to sites of employment, education, shopping, medical care and social services, as well as houses of worship.  They are being assisted in their efforts by the Friends of Shady Acres (Amigos de Shady Acres.)

This blog will have multiple authors; when possible we will post in Spanish and English.  We will share relevant documents and updates as they become available.  We will also post commentaries (at times anonymous) and works of art and poetry by Shady Acres residents and their allies and supporters. 

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