Akoma Unity Center to receive $140,000 grant from More Attractive Communities (MAC) Foundation towards the beautification of Anne Shirrells Park on the westside of San Bernardino. Akoma Unity Center (Akoma) is located in the heart of the westside in Anne Shirrells Park. The Beautification of Anne Shirrells Park aims to inspire and recharge the community’s spirit, while boosting the financial resilience of this neighborhood —giving residents a sense of pride and ownership.
This project is made possible largely due to the support of MAC Foundation whose mission is to support San Bernardino’s underserved communities by creating curb appeal to physical local businesses, organizations, parks and recreation facilities. Akoma is seeking additional support from the City of San Bernardino and other stakeholders to contribute to the Beautification Project.
Improvement plans include: refurbishing the basketball court, improving landscaping and irrigation of the Anne Shirrells Garden, creating a Zen Garden inside the gated area of Akoma Unity Center, along with a new volleyball and tether ball court. Each space serves a purpose for the youth and families of the westside of San Bernardino and those who visit Akoma Unity Center. In addition, MAC is sponsoring the painting of a vibrant mural on the building facing California St. Akoma has partnered with a home-grown muralist to create a welcoming art scape that encompasses the culture and values of this neighborhood.
“Murals have been noted to be extremely impactful in bridging communities and creating pride. We at Akoma Unity Center are extremely grateful to the MAC Foundation and all philanthropic organizations who will find it deep in their generous hearts to give to this worthy community project. As Executive Director of Akoma Unity Center, it is my heartfelt mission to bring about change and improvements to the very much marginalized westside of San Bernardino. It takes strong leadership, insight, and understanding of community development in order to forge revitalization within a community where people feel no hope. Akoma Unity Center welcomes all community collaborations with this Beautification Project” says Executive Director Kimberly Calvin.
Akoma has previously received support from CA ReLeaf through the 2019 Arbor Week Grant which assisted with planting the Shirrells Garden bountiful orchard of fruit trees.