Club Volunteers Help Make Day of Service a Smash Hit
Sierra Club volunteers from coast to coast answered President-elect (now President!) Obama's call to participate in National Day of Service activities over the Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend, January 17-19. Above, volunteers with the Club's Lake Group collected trash along California Highway 29 near Lakeport. Below, Missouri volunteers braved cold temperatures and icy stream crossings during an urban hike and trash cleanup in St. Charles County's Quail Ridge Park, just west of St. Louis.
More than 100 people turned out in Auburn, California, to clean up the Auburn-Folsom Road and Highway 49 near downtown Auburn. "We collected 92 bags of trash and 11 bags of recyclables!" says event "instigator/organizer" Christina Ragsdale of the Sierra Club's Placer Group. "We've been asked by everyone—including the City of Auburn—to do it again, so it may become an annual thing."
In Michigan, Club member Gina Meola hosted an environmentally-themed movie night and mercury hair-testing clinic at her home in Clawson, just north of Detroit. That's Meola below, cutting Sierra Club organizer Melissa Damaschke's hair. Information was provided by the local Sierra Club office on coal plants and mercury emissions in the state.
Minnesota activist Tom Holtey and his kids spent the day cleaning an old Civilian Conservation Corps/Works Project Administration building in Buffalo River State Park, "because as we move forward as a country, we also need to look back in history to the 'New Deal' era." That's Sarah, left, and David, right, cleaning the building, below which is going to be used as a warming house for an upcoming "Candlelight Cross-Country Skiing, Showshoing, and Hiking Event."
The Club's Yahi Group organized and teamed with California State Parks, the City of Chico Park Division, Friends of Bidwell Park, Chico Creek Nature Center, and Habitat for Humanity to turn out nearly 150 people for community service projects in and around Chico, Orland, and Corning, California. Projects included a bike path cleanup, barbwire fence and invasive plant removal along a popular hiking trail, below, native plantings in local parks and a nature center, and trash removal, tree-pruning, and invasive plant removal in preparation for a new Habitat for Humanity home.
Local activists and students pitched in at San Diego's Aquatic Adventures, below, to make three-dimensional tide pools and visuals for third-grade classrooms, label restoration supplies for habitat restoration projects, create nature-inspired art pieces for Aquatic Adventures' educational facility, and cut out life-sized shark shapes for use in scientific research. All the supplies will be used in programs to connect San Diego's urban youth to nature and science.
Just up the coast in Los Angeles County, more than 250 volunteers turned out to help clean up and restore the Ballona Wetlands—watch the YouTube video by Club activist Martin Kasindorf: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSMjsbK8efQ). Elsewhere in L.A. County, Angeles Chapter volunteers put their backs into trail work in the Santa Monica Mountains, below.
Heart of Illinois Group and Prairie Dawgs volunteers braved 9-degree temperatures to cut invasive plants in an area of prairie restoration at Jubilee College State Park near Peoria, below. Park staff has been cut and cannot complete all the projects the park superintendent would like to get done.
In Indiana, the Sierra Club's "Photographic Day of Service" gave members in central Indiana an opportunity to capture and publicize the wintertime beauty along the historic Monon Trail, below, a rails-to-trails route that runs from Indianapolis to the suburban city of Carmel. A sampling of the photos can be viewed here, here, here, and here.
Outside Philadelphia, the Club's Southeastern Group organized several volunteer service events, including a litter cleanup of Darby Creek in the town of Clifton Heights, below.
Next door in New Jersey, volunteers came out on the coldest day of the year and collected 25 bags of trash and recyclables in Asbury Park, below. The group signed up to continue their service from April through October when they will continue the cleanups on Sunday afternoons.
And below, Vince Semonsen led a group of five youngsters and two adults in collecting trash at Carpenteria Marsh in Carpenteria, California, near Santa Barbara. "The photo shows the rest of the crew at the end of our day yelling, 'Obama!'" says Semonsen.