By Sharon Gibbons
Shortly after the election last month, The Watershed Project hosted a community volunteer day in San Pablo at Wanlass Park to plant trees, recover native plants, clean up Rheem Creek and pick up trash in the park. Volunteers came from all over the Bay Area despite the periodic rain and cold winds, galvanized to act as a community. High school students, a father and son, a group of friends all coming together, smiled and cheered as we piled up a mound of collected trash and took a group photo. We all felt energized by making such a difference, taking care of our local creek and its beautiful setting.
Become a Citizen of Your Watershed
Becoming a citizen of your watershed is an empowering antidote to feelings of frustration and paralysis in this time of political transition. We are blessed to live in a beautiful, complex watershed that starts in our mountain ranges and flows to the Bay, conveying automatic citizenship to each of us, whether we are aware of it or not. Participating locally in caring for our creeks, planting urban trees, tending the Greenway, and exploring our parks and trails are all ways to actively engage as citizens of an inclusive, generous community that cares for the natural environment and for the future. Every tree planted and piece of trash picked up is a vote for the health of the watershed and its citizenry, both human and those of the natural environment.
Watershed Citizenry Has Much to Teach Us
Watershed thinking has much to teach us about the long-term benefits of restoring natural processes in our urban landscape. As we daylight creeks, plant sidewalk trees and rain gardens, and experiment with gradual levees in the Bay, the “watershed” approach takes a transformative look at old problems of urban blight, flooding and pollution, looking to nature to help restore a healthy balance by filtering pollutants, slowing down water flow, bringing beauty and enjoyment, and returning natural habitat to our cityscapes. These projects model to us that we can plan creatively for the future and that providing hands-on ongoing care is also a necessary part of being a watershed citizen.
But What Can I Do?
The Watershed Project would like to invite you to join us in upcoming events as we plant urban trees, plant native plants, and tend our rain gardens and bioswales on the Richmond Greenway. We will be hosting a tree planting event this month and in January, we will host a tree planting and will participate in the MLK Jr. Day of Service with the Friends of the Richmond Greenway. Please come be a part of our community!
Our events include:
Richmond Tree Planting in the Belding Woods neighborhood
Date: Saturday, December 17th, 9:00am to 1:00pm
Location: Meet at Belding-Garcia Park, 15 St. and Coalinga Ave., Richmond
Contact for more information: email@example.com
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Date: January 16th, 2017
Locations: (1) The Richmond Greenway, 21st and Ohio St., Richmond, (2) The Richmond Greenway, 8th St. between Chanslor and Ohio St. Richmond
Plus other locations TBA!
Contact for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Richmond Tree Planting at Lucas Park
Date: January 21st, 2017, time TBA
Location: Lucas Park, 10th St. and Lucas Ave., Richmond
For more information, contact: email@example.com