Nearly a year after the Alliance for a Post-Petroleum Local Economy eliminated its executive director position and vacated its Nevada City building amid funding shortfalls, the nonprofit is hosting a forum tonight to re-introduce itself to the community.
“Many people think APPLE died,” said board President Joshua Lichterman. “One reason for the community meeting is to show people we are still alive.”
APPLE is a nonprofit aiming to facilitate reduced dependence on fossil fuels and to promote a more self-reliant local economy, according to its website.
Beginning in 2009, APPLE ran the Center for Sustainable Living out of a leased facility at 412 Commercial St. in Nevada City — a city-owned building that APPLE’s volunteers put in a reported $80,000 of tenant improvements.
At the Center, as it was called, the nonprofit housed its resource library, computer research stations and gift shop and also served as a gathering place for the organization’s clubs, committees and activities.
During its first two years, APPLE was mainly funded by the Private Industry Council of Butte County, until that organization unexpectedly shuttered its own doors in February of 2011.
With subsequent declines in revenue, such as a loss of a grant, APPLE was left with little cash on hand, so the nonprofit gave up the Center, lost four board members and was unable to continue to employ its executive director, Mali Dyck.
“She was a huge loss,” Lichterman said. “It was so disappointing to not be able to raise enough money to keep her.”
With no location of its own, APPLE’s board set to work continuing the organization’s core goals with the help of dedicated volunteers.
In November, the board went on a retreat, rewrote its mission statement and discussed a series of initiatives, Lichterman said.
Some of those plans focus on creating practical projects, including a seed-lending library and fostering community gardens.
“It’s pretty amazing that neither Nevada City nor Grass Valley has a community garden,” Lichterman said. “The community, given the current number of acres in production, cannot feed itself in the event of an emergency, and we need to increase the base level.”
Other ideas include joining with other agencies and organizations toward mutually beneficial goals, he said.
“We’re very interested in setting up new alliances,” Lichterman said.
Lichterman, along with his four new board members, invite the public to join them to unveil the new mission statement and get feedback on future projects.
“The strategy of this meeting is preservation,” Lichterman said. “We’re looking for community members to help us pursue these goals.”
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4236.