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Cambria Air Force Radar Station
Conversion Project Proposal

Airbase Picture. Click for full size JPEG picture

We have maps of the location.

An aerial view:

Airbase Aerial View. Click for full size JPEG picture

Support for the Cambria Air Force Base Project
SLONET Regional Information Access - San Luis Obispo County via Internet

The Cambria Air Force Base

One hour south of the Esalen Institute, 30 miles north of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, and 2 miles off Highway One is a 34-acre decommissioned military site, the former Cambria Air Force Station, with 90,000 square feet of buildings. (See aerial photo below.) Two adjoining properties, which allow for ocean access, also are available, for a combined total of 694 acres. We are proposing this site for the Macrocosm Institute nonprofit educational center. You are invited to join this effort. Why? To demonstrate the creative conversion of a military base into a progressive, interdisciplinary educational research center capable of generating practical and ecological activities and models of self-sufficient living. We propose to create a small scale experimental working/living/learning center with gardens, studios, shops, conference facilities, offices for nonprofit organizations, cooperative housing for students and others, and a complete computer and networking center - a model micro-community where people work and live within walking distance, and are independent of the grid (except for the telecommunications grid). The purchase of at least one of the adjoining properties will ensure coastal access, conducive to ocean research and seaside meditation. Acquisition of these lands also will help preserve our disappearing agricultural lands, indigenous species, and open spaces fast succumbing to development.

The base had a generating plant and the backup battery has been left intact.

Amenities include:

Solar panels and windmills could provide energy, especially for the wells. We will need lead engineers and architects to realize these and other possibilities. The nearby university has excellent architecture, engineering, environment and agriculture departments. The local prison and the California Conservation Corps could be enlisted for labor. For those whose careers have been displaced or are searching for more meaningful work and a wholistic educational experience, the Institute will offer alternatives. An extension of the university or college it could provide education and on-the-job training in agriculture, architecture, reforestation, computer publishing and telecommunications, community ecology, media arts, cooperative business techniques, informational and other research, and related activities.

How you can help

We need input, resources, materials, pledges, contributions, and pragmatic visionaries. Maybe you know where we can get solar panels, windmills, useful salvage, funding, staff, interns, and/or nonprofit residents who would like to cooperatively buy in and set up activities.

Renovation of the air base's infrastructure will be the Institute's first phase. A full design will need to be created before grants proposals can be submitted. If the Air Station does become a reality, the facility can support a small group comfortably while this is taking place. The radar towers have enormous possibilities, maybe as offices. This process should provide a self-satisfying work experience for all involved. It is estimated that the facility can support 500.

Initially, a staff should be selected to develop and maintain daily community functions - talented, experienced, cooperative people who understand social change, possess vision, and practice long-term commitment - and train others to carry on a working structure. This effort will take skilled craftspeople, technicians, managers, accountants, teachers, environmentalists, handypersons, gardeners, cooks, housekeepers and others. Privileges to members will be commensurate to their contributions as working members, interns, patrons, educators, mentors, visiting consultants, or any other form of useful participation.

These industries do well on the Central Coast:

Who we are

Macrocosm USA, Inc. is a nonprofit educational clearinghouse for progressive projects, ventures and organizations. A strong core of activities will center around its publishing, database, and computer networking. A small staff and interns will be necessary to ensure the continuation of its efforts: an annual directory/reader, Possibilities newsletter, computer network (MacroNet), and periodic reports. An electronic networking hub, Macrocosm USA with the Macrocosm Institute will be a vital international hub of people, projects, and organizations.

We are losing our societal potential to solve problems when we waste our human resources. The Institute wants to encourage mentoring and apprenticeships, leadership, community, participatory problem-solving, productivity, pragmatism, ecology, and creative and wholistic thinking.

We invite educators, leaders, policy wonks, experts and others to conduct seminars. Internships will be accepted in exchange for work. We want to stress the following:

What's Next?

Thematic conferences will be organized regularly. A designated area will display printed materials of other nonprofits and socially/environmentally responsible investor groups. Future plans include regular field trips from local schools.

The retrofitting and rededication of these buildings should provide inspiration for the purposeful rebirth of other abandoned and decayed structures with utilitarian potential - in particular, the many military bases in the U.S. and other countries being closed. The owners of all properties will consider terms. A special fund will be setup for this project. Monies also will need to be set aside for fixing up the facility. Falcon Cable TV, radio station KOTR, and TV station KSBY rent-on-site repeater stations on a month-by-month basis. This is revenue. Also the savings from getting off the grid will be enormous Please send your proposals, pledges, endorsements, or contributions. We also are seeking members for the Board of Directors and Advisors.

Author: Sandi Brockway