Dakota EcoGarden


March 20, 2021

We are proud to announce that our beloved Nancy Waidtlow, founder of the Dakota EcoGarden, has been awarded the distinguished Mr. Rodgers Good Neighbor award for her efforts in helping end homelessness in Fresno, CA.

Valley PBS presented Nancy with the award on March 20, 2021. Fred McFeely Rogers (Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) was born on March 20, 1928, and these awards are bestowed upon select members of the Central Valley community every year on Mister Rogers’ birthday in honor of his legacy.

The Valley PBS Nominate Your Neighbor 2021 video can be viewed below. The segment featuring Nancy Waidtlow starts around the 13 minute mark:

You can also watch the video on the official website of Valley PBS:


July 12, 2018

The Fresno Bee recently featured a story about the Dakota EcoGarden:

“There’s a place in Fresno for the homeless that has an environmentally-friendly approach”


Sukkat Shalom (Shelter of Peace) Eco Pod

 Our first eco pod living unit was named Sukkat Shalom (Shelter of Peace) by Temple Beth Israel of Fresno after their generous donation was used to complete it in 2019.  Sukkat Shalom has been occupied for the last 3 years and is one of three tiny home residences at the Dakota EcoGarden.

The Original Site of the Eco Village Project of Fresno

In July of 2012, homeless advocate Nancy Waidtlow purchased a 0.6 acre lot in West Fresno, where she founded the Dakota EcoGarden in late 2013.  It’s the original site of the Eco Village Project of Fresno and the first of its kind in the city.  There are many resources for the homeless in Fresno, but what makes it unique is its uplifting environment and democratic approach.

The Dakota EcoGarden is open to people of all walks of life – regardless of gender, race or creed.  The mission of the Dakota EcoGarden, as part of the Eco Village Project of Fresno, is to empower formerly homeless individuals with the skills needed for self-sufficient lifestyles that enable happiness, health and success.

The Dakota EcoGarden represents Nancy’s version of Architect Arthur Dyson’s original vision for an eco village.  Although the Dakota EcoGarden does not include a standard community building, the home on the property provides the same basic elements of a shared kitchen, living space and bathrooms.  Plans call for the Dakota EcoGarden to add six more tiny home residences, bringing the total number to nine.  The new units will replace an equivalent number of tent structures now in use.

Lastly, Dyson’s concept incorporates a commercial building that includes an art studio & art galley (pottery, sculpture and other art), a furniture repair shop & showroom and bakery.  While the Dakota EcoGarden does not incorporate this framework, it’s still a place that provides a place and resources for residents to learn new skills or further develop their existing skills.  The Dakota EcoGarden provides computer access that residents can use to seek educational opportunities or find employment.

Dakota EcoGarden Features
  • 0.6 Acre Property
  • 1800 Sq. Ft. Home
  • 4 Bedrooms
  • 2 Full Baths
  • Laundry Room
  • Computer Room
  • 2 Communal Kitchens
  • Communal Living Room
  • Organic Garden w/ Fruits & Veggies
  • 3 Eco Village Residences (6 in Development)

Dakota EcoGarden Services
  • Mentoring in Computer Skills
  • Help for Those Seeking More Education
  • Support in Combating Alcohol and Addiction Issues
  • Assistance in Obtaining Medical Care
  • Referrals to Community Social Services
Dakota EcoGarden Activities
  • Bi-Monthly Meetings with Residents
  • Community Outreach
  • Organic Gardening
  • Cultural and Educational Field Trips
Dakota EcoGarden Contact Info


2231 W. Dakota Ave
Fresno, CA 93705

Phone #:

559-225-2767 (House Phone)




When making a donation, please include a message that indicates your payment is for the Dakota EcoGarden.

Make personal checks or money orders payable to:

The Eco Village Project of Fresno
P.O. Box 5124
Fresno, CA 93755

All major credit cards & electronic-checks are accepted via our verified non-profit 501(c)(3) PayPal account.

Thank you in advance for your generous efforts to help end homelessness in our community.


7 Comments on “Dakota EcoGarden

  1. Very nice to see the progress and the good still being done. I am building a duplication of what was done at the Dakota EcoGarden. I am on 80 acres and I intend to help as many homeless families as I can. Come visit me sometime.


  2. Wonderful project. We need the gov to subsidize such projects.


  3. Pingback: Where Should Fresno's Homeless Go? Arias and Dyer Duke It Out. - GV Wire

  4. I miss all of you, and I am so thankful for the wonderful world that Dakota EcoGarden opened up for me.

    Brittani (former resident)


  5. Dear Nancy W,
    To you, Nancy H, Jeff, Bev, Gerry and all Dakota EcoGarden residents, what a lovely garden, home and spirit you have grown! 🙂


  6. Got a nice compliment on the website, Mario, from a nice woman who brought over some useful donations. -Nancy Waidtlow


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: