San Miguel Resource Connection
San Miguel Resource Connection is a grassroots community-driven group of concerned citizens, organized as a nonprofit to network resources for San Miguel. Together we face the challenges of earthquake recovery, positive activities for our youth, safe neighborhoods, a revitalized downtown, drainage issues, how to get more tax dollars back into our community, communicating within our multi-cultural population, and availability of health services, just to name a few.
How it all started:
The San Miguel Resource Connection result of a vision started by the Paso Robles/San Miguel Health Collaborative that was funded by a 4 year grant from the Partnership for the Public’s Health. 2002 survey results showed residents felt the most important needs were; access to fresh food, positive activities for the youth, and communicating through cultural barriers. The PR/SM grant ran out in 2005, leaving San Miguel scrambling for ways to sustain programs that had been started.
The San Miguel Resource Connection is a non-profit organization, dedicated to promoting, facilitating, and implementing improved services, communication, and planning for the community of San Miguel by partnering with government, organizations, and individuals.
The Discover San Miguel website was launched to provide a central source of communication for civic groups, our schools, and churches, to post their events and solicit volunteers or membership. www.DiscoverSanMiguel.com is the main source of information about the community, for local and outside potential investors as well as tourists.
San Miguel Resource Connection (SMRC) partnered with several agencies to create a Walkability Study and Walk to School Day. SMRC hosts public informational forums on various topics and advocates for community growth and design issues. The SMRC spearheaded the request for a public, pedestrian, at-grade crossing of the Union Pacific Railroad between the school and several housing developments. School children and adults are currently crossing illegally between the school and several housing developments. Because of the education and advocacy work conducted by the SMRC partnered with other community groups, the CPUC held a hearing at the school in San Miguel in April. The ALJ ruled in favor of San Miguel to grant permission for the RR crossing. San Luis Obispo County is working to find funding to build the crossing as well as working with town members to meet the stringent requirements of the ruling.
San Miguel Masters In Artful Places:
San Miguel Masters in Artful Places, a committee of San Miguel Resource Connection, has developed a set of guidelines for the community to be used in planning major exterior works of art in San Miguel. Local artist, Steve Kalar has created the 1 st outdoor mural piece proudly displayed on a historic business building downtown.
Our community partners make our programs possible! SMRC continues to build their relationship with Cal Poly, United Way, MARCLED, LEAP, the San Luis Obispo County Community Foudation, the LINK, PG&E, Economic Vitality Corp., Coast National Bank, San Miguel Advisory Council, San Miguel YMCA, San Miguel Lions Club, Friends of the Adobes, Mission San Miguel, Lighthouse Community Church, Friends of the Children, Midland Pacific Foundation, developers building in our area and county agencies, our County District Supervisor, the San Miguel Community Services District, Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West San Miguel Parlors, HEAL SLO, SLO County Prevention Alliance, the newly formed San Miguel Chamber of Commerce (2008) and our dedicated military friends and neighbors at Camp Roberts.
The Masters at Their Trade (MATT) program:
Our program provides the only formal arts instruction in the San Miguel Joint Union School District (K-8), which serves over 500 students, free of charge. The visual arts program invites distinguished artists working in a variety of mediums to teach an art unit during the school day. American Sign Language (ASL) classes incorporate signing to music. Classes include keyboard, choral groups, calligraphy, poetry, music theory and appreciation as well as fine arts instruction both during the school day and in the LEAP after school program. Music and performing arts classes culminate with student performances. Artwork is collaged into large outdoor murals displayed on school buildings.
The program goals are to inspire and give students the opportunity to increase skills, knowledge and understanding of the arts thru music, performance and art workshops. Skill development will encourage responsibility and instill a sense of teamwork, accomplishment and self-confidence. To learn more about our performing arts program please
SMRC raised the necessary funds, obtained the permits, and facilitated the opening of a farmers’ market 3/2004 outside a historic barn near the downtown. Seniors and those without transportation make the trips on foot for their groceries. WIC and food stamps are accepted. Our Farmers’ Market has closed due to street vendors that do not have to comply with the same County codes.
Projects in the "Pipeline"
Gateway Signage Project:
San Miguel is the northern entryway to San Luis Obispo County. The two main entrances to the town have been neglected and home-made signs placed at will along Mission Street. A volunteer clean-up was organized, removing the old signs and dead vegetation. Our long-term goal is to provide a tree-lined sidewalk from the Mission to the downtown making the walk inviting to visitors. This would help support the downtown businesses and promote economic revitalization. Two Cal-Poly seniors recently completed a feasibility study for this project. Supervisor Frank Mecham has formed a community committee and found funding for this project.
There is one community park in the center of town with a swimming pool maintained by the county. The park is currently cut in half by L street. We are recommending that the street be closed and traffic directed around the park. This would allow us to have better recreational facilities and make the park more useful. SMRC worked with SLO County Parks and Recreation to purchase a piece of property in probate that will expand the footprint of the park making it more useable. SMRC volunteers demolished the structures, removed debris, an abandoned car and a dead tree, to make the property useable by the County. SMRC received half of the realtor’s commission from the sale of the property to further their Economic Development programs.
Our plan is to develop the downtown as a destination, capitalizing on the wineries and ranches surrounding us. We can develop as a horse-friendly place, develop equestrian, bike and walking trails, and build on the various features of San Miguel’s history. While the Mission is being restored and seismically retrofitted, San Miguel can ready itself for the influx of tourists. Construction for the first big mixed use/ commercial retail building was completed in 2007. San Miguel has its 1st bank in nearly 50 years as the anchor tenant! SMRC is working with downtown developers to bring in small businesses as tenants.
Salinas River Trails:
The town is dissected by the railroad and river. To date, this has hampered development, but with proper planning, we could use both as an asset. The Regional Water Quality Control Board awarded $87,000 to the Las Tablas Resource Conservation District. The RCD is working with SMRC and our County District Supervisor on a plan of how to best utilize the funds within the strict parameters by the RWQCB. We have requested funds be used to create a trails plan, staging area for hikers, bikers and equestrians as well as targeting erosion control with riparian habitat restoration.
Advocacy with the County for Infrastructure Improvements:
The community struggles with flooding in the downtown, which is a deterrent for economic revitalization. “Safe Route To School” funds were used to construct a raised sidewalk, curb and gutter for school children on 16 th street. SLO County received CDBG funds for replacing the sidewalk, providing park benches and landscaping, and diagonal parking for 2 blocks of the downtown. Construction was completed in 2008. SLO County is making progress and promises funding to implement a drainage plan for San Miguel. Much of the construction is already underway.