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Cooperative Collaborative To Launch Smart Yards Cooperatives

  • Human Agenda Office 1376 N. 4th Street #101 San Jose, CA 95112 United States (map)

At the June 6 Santa Clara Cooperatives Meeting participants will discuss and decide the following:  

  • Coop Member Applications.  Finalize the application for new coop members of Smart Yards, to be distributed at the Smart Yards Recruitment session June 13
  • June 13 Coop Recruitment Meeting.  Finalize the presentation and logistics for June 13
  • Operating Procedures.  Finalize the operating procedures for the coop, so there is clarity for new worker-owners.   
  • Fundraising.  Finalize a budget and a fundraising plan for the cooperative.

Summary of May 2 Santa Clara Valley Cooperative Collaborative Meeting:  
1. Time Frame.  Participants felt that we need to jump-start the coop.  We have more in place than we think:
(a)    Huge demand (almost no need for a formal business plan),
(b)    Human Agenda changed its bylaws to allow it to incubate cooperatives (a place to write a check and to organize); it has developed operating procedures for another co-op in formation, CLARO (a legal collective)
(c)     Rob is familiar with coop legal forms
(d)    Elizabeth is familiar with and trained in every function except perhaps accounting.   
(e)    Walter has already gotten commitments from 3 people on his block.   
(f)     Participants bring a variety of contacts and skills that will be very useful in forming the coop. 

2. Coop Job Descriptions.  Job descriptions were distributed by Susan Harman, who had collected them from collaborative members.  We agreed on 7 positions / functions needed for the coop: Project Manager, Landscape Designer, Marketing Specialist, Landscaper, Graywater Installer, Construction Specialist, and Accountant. 

  • Project Manager to organize each lawn conversion and perform any needed tasks
  • Landscape Designer to design beautiful and sustainable Smart Yards
  • Marketing Specialist to promote sustainability, democracy, and beauty to homeowners
  • Landscaper to replace existing lawns with sustainable lawns
  • Greywater Installer to move graywater from home appliances to the new smart yard
  • Construction Specialist to build driveways, retainer walls, fences, decks, etc. to support the smart yard
  • Accountant to be in charge of financing plans and cooperative accounting

3. Name.  After 30 minutes of brainstorming the name that rose to the top and had unanimous agreement was:  “Smart Yards. A Sustainable Landscaping Cooperative

4.Recruitment of Coop Members.  A place for up to 40 people should be found forSaturday, June 13 from 9-11 a.m.  Then we need to recruit aggressively.  The recruitment flyer should be bilingual English / Spanish. 


Description of the Project:  Smart Yards is a worker-owned landscaping cooperative in formation.  Responding to the need to save water during the drought and long-term, Smart Yards will install a greywater system hooked to home appliances in order to water new sustainable yards with natural plants, replacing lawns.  Smart Yards will soon become a cooperative which workers will own, making decisions democratically and contributing 25% of patronage (profit) to additional future cooperatives. Thus, worker-owners and homeowners will be forever linked to the values of a solidarity economy of democracy, equality, cooperation, kindness, and sustainability.

For more information contact Chuck Rawlings at or Richard Hobbs at 408-460-2999 or