During the public comment period of the Visalia City Council meeting on Monday, August 15, 2022, the Visalia Environmental Alliance honored the Reniers: Wilson, Kristin and their daughters, with the Environmental Hero Award. This award is given to community stewards of all ages who demonstrate daily lifestyle actions that protect our natural resources for a sustainable Visalia. The Reniers use their own solar power with battery backup to stay off the grid and drive electric cars. They have a vegetable garden, and as parents, washable diapers and wipes. They use Visalia’s green bins to compost and shop at the farmer’s market.
The Reniers family restores a building near downtown Visalia – trying to reuse all possible materials and salvage wood from a demolition project. The building will be an energy-efficient creative workspace that will act as a sort of incubator where you arrive with an idea and leave with a business plan. In the second phase, the building will add a cafe, farm stand, indoor ghost kitchen, makerspace and podcast studio. While waiting for city permits, it will be a workspace by day and an art gallery by night. Overall, the Reniers are doing their part to make a difference in the natural and social environment of Visalia.
Dale Simmons, volunteer
Visalia Environmental Alliance