Renting A Commercial Space for Our Headquarters Nancy Chennault, Castle Rock, Washington
For our 10th Anniversary in 2022, the property owner generously gifted us the space in exchange for clean-up, paint, and finishing off the restroom. Most of the Castle Rock Bloom Team Volunteers have stored fertilizers, tools, wheelbarrows, assorted inventory of posters and banners, flags for the 4th of July etc., in our garages and shops for years. What a relief to have a space where everything is accessible to everyone.
Wagons, debris tubs, extra vests, holiday decorations, and paint are all stored in the Blooms Event Theatre (BET). As a bonus, the extra room in the back, (it is the old Castle Rock Theatre that had been renovated into a basketball court in 2007), gave ample room for the Street Art/Halloween Jamboree Haunted House. By renting the space, this structure did not have to be removed and was there for the 2023 Haunted House as well.
Also, because of inclement weather at Festival of Lights, the Arcade Games for the kids was able to be housed under cover the past 2 years and the float for the parade was decorated there.
It has been somewhat stressful raising the money each month for the $800 rent. Castle Rock Blooms is a committee within the non-profit Castle Rock Community Development Alliance. We can apply for grants, and donations/sponsorships are tax-deductible. We have yet to find a grant for administrative costs for a non-profit, such as renting a space for storage or office.
Castle Rock Community Development Alliance pays the insurance. The property owner (a former Blooms member) pays the utilities. CRCDA will take over the rent payments for 2024 which is good news for Blooms. The Bloom Team will share rent with other CRCDA committees that use the space throughout the year, such as Festival of Lights and Street Art/Halloween Jamboree.
The space is not ideal. It is noisy and chilly in the winter, but it is out of the weather and secure. It has a restroom – a great asset when volunteers are working around town at all hours and throughout the year.
There is ample room for storage and staging. When we plant our pansies and bulbs in the spring and the flowers for summer, the racks of plants can be rolled in and out for easy access for volunteers. Castle Rock Public Works loaned Blooms a 4×4 Side by Side for watering this summer which could stay at the BET. Easily accessible for the volunteers who watered after CRPW open hours.
Definitely worth the extra effort to raise money for rent. The benefits of having a ‘headquarters’ far outweighs the stress of coming up with the rent payment each month.
America in Bloom is an independent, 501c3 nonprofit organization.