Paradise >> “Be the community you want to live in.”
That’s the motto of the Paradise Community Guilds, a nonprofit organization that offers entertainment, public discourse, education and organic gardening opportunities to its members and the public.
“Our members do more than pay an annual fee,” said David Zink, president. “They bring their time, interests, passions and skills to create an environment in which they teach each others more about what they know, so everyone can learn more about what they are interested in.”
The Paradise Community Guilds has a long and winding history that started in 1932 when it was founded as Paradise Grange No. 490. In 1949 it was incorporated and granted nonprofit status. In 1952, Glenard and Elizabeth Abbey deeded 2.5-acres of land on Chapel Drive to the grange.
“The members built the hall on the land with their own resources, time and talent. That sharing of skills is what we’re about. We are continuing in their spirit,” said Zink.
The structure built by members is called the Norton Buffalo Hall, after the late famed singer-song writer from the Bay Area who spent the final years of his life as a ridge resident.
As time passed things changed. The grange membership aged and started to dwindle. Then just a few years ago the national grange association and the California state grange association went through some organizational turmoil.
“The relationship between the two organizations was damaged and we realized we were no longer able to identify as a grange,” said Zink. “We were evolving into a new kind of community service organization focused on agriculture, families and the community.”
In 2013 a core…