Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 4:00 pm | Fair 55º


Jan Martinez Nominated for Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize for Beautifying Community

Jan Martinez, employee at Snips Beauty Shop at 701 E. North Ave., is the fifth nominee for the Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize.

Jan Martinez
Jan Martinez

Martinez’s nomination is in recognition of her beautification — in addition to the women of Lompoc — of vacant, neglected spaces around town. Spaces full of litter, weeds and worse. Spaces that were eyesores. Spaces that detracted greatly from the image of Lompoc as a City of Arts and Flowers.

With the help of her partner, Dan Mally, Martinez has turned five dreary, weedy spaces into areas of charm and natural beauty. In May 2009, she looked at an area at 122 South H St. and decided that she could do something to get rid of an ugly spot in downtown Lompoc. Using only found or recycled materials and primarily drought-tolerant plants, she changed the space into a place of natural charm.

The second place she improved was in Art Alley under the mural of Indians and a desert sunset, near the stairs to the Odd Fellows building, using some cactus from her own yard and some scavenged railroad ties. Many Lompocans comment frequently on the third area, located on the northwest corner of Chestnut and North H. Prominent are the large tires, donated by Wayne’s Tires, and the little wooden truck, built by Mally, surrounded by plants donated by Red Barn nursery.

Martinez started the process of beautifying the area later known as the Pocket Park on South H Street. The city then contributed a fountain and benches. Martinez worked with city workers to outline planted areas with bricks.

Anyone waiting for the stoplight to change at Walnut and North H streets has doubtless noticed the change to the formerly vacant, neglected corner lot on the southeast corner.

“This was the most challenging,” Martinez declared.

It was just a big asphalt area, nothing else there. Mally built her two wooden planters, and she started planting. Help came along in the person of Vicky Anderson, who helped her plan and paint a brick walkway on the asphalt, and Terrill Cox, the owner of the lot, removed the old chain-link fence and provided a water hook-up.

“Gardens are always works in progress," she said. "And they are always changing. They need to change; they represent life, and life is always changing. You need to give yourself permission to change. That is very liberating.

“It’s all about beauty. When people look better, they feel better.”

Towns, too. So she makes it happen, one vacant lot at a time.

Does this have anything to do with peace? Wise men have thought so. Black Elk, a famous Indian chief, said, “There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men [and women].”

Nominations for the Peace Prize can be made through Dec. 1 by contacting the Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ at 805.733.3333 or by contacting Allie Kay Spaulding at [email protected]. The recognition ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Valley of the Flowers Church at 3346 Constellation in Vandenberg Village.

— Allie Kay Spaulding represents Valley of the Flowers Church.

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.