Better Farmers go Postal

Guerrilla painter.

A group of locals has for the last several months petitioned to have the Redwood Post Office painted. With all the flaking old paint, bare patches and dirt, the building wasn't looking its best. Redwood residents felt, rightfully so, that their public building should be a little more welcoming.

But up through the ranks, they were turned down. So without exterior funding, a group of volunteers on Saturday and Sunday scraped the old paint and then applied a fresh coat. They brought their own scrapers and brushes and senses of humor, they brought their own paint, and in no time this group numbering more than a dozen people had given the post office a facelift we can all take a little pride in.

Studies have shown again and again that people are affected by the spaces around them. Cleaning up graffiti on subway cars, for example, reduces incidences of vandalism and crime. An uncluttered home helps to de-clutter the mind. And so on. It stands to reason, therefore, that the buildings we frequent for shopping, dining, living, or even for getting the mail, have a negative effect on us if they're not cared for.

The entire field of environmental science deals directly with this very subject matter. Still, all this psychological mumbo-jumbo is certainly not the kind of thing we think about every day, if ever. But on some very basic level, we interact with clean spaces differently than dirty spaces; and those locations we feel best in are often those which are the most loved and cared for. We can now add the post office to that list. On behalf of one community member, I offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to the folks who gave up a part of their weekend to pay it forward. It's an honor to be in a place where people band together to take pride in the place they call home. And of course, big thanks to the entire gang from Better Farm who showed up with bells on to help out.

Here are the "before' shots of the front and back of the post office:

 And here's the Better Farm crew teaming up with locals to get 'er done:

Many thanks to all who came out to lend a hand!


Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.