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The story you are about to read could not occur at any other time, the possibility forming slowly as a hunger in a collective imagination. The many unique strengths of the place – Salinas, California – could not fully blossom until a hundred and fifty years of immigrants had planted seeds into her earth to make a strong, diverse culture.  Young children laboring in agricultural fields had to grow up, run for office, and become leaders of that city. The land, Carr Lake, the seat of generations of work and feeding people, needed to be fully surrounded by that city, looking in at it, for its significance to be seen.  Generations of Japanese-American farmers needed to steward that land through thick and thin. The voice of a community needed to express its yearnings for reconciliation and connection in ways that others could hear.   A land trust – Big Sur Land Trust – needed to hone enough experience to be able to imagine a more expansive promise for its work, and to listen to a different community speaking to them.  It had to nurture leaders strong and credible enough to follow the path to Salinas and to attract supporters who believed in them.  All this had to happen in order for Carr Lake to transform from a blank spot on a map to the possibility of a giant central park, a bridge for a people toward the strength of their history and nature. This place always is and always has been evolving, shifting, growing and changing, and now it is on a cusp of convergence of culture and ideas that has the potential to take it to a new place of ecological and social well-being. This is the story of that beginning.


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