You must be the change you want to see in the world. – Ghandi
Imagine if everyone, at least 1 day a year, did something to change the world. The hubs and I believe that earth day is every day and just like our anniversary should be celebrated annually to remind us to pause and take a moment to appreciate each other. We get so busy in our daily lives we can forget the impact we are having on our earth. Throughout the year we try to do as many volunteer trail work days as we possibly can. We hike the trails, we should help maintain them! The volunteer day at Jack London was awesome this year! So many people turned out to volunteer their time and energy on a couple of projects that would have taken their limited staff weeks to accomplish.
Jack London SP
We arrived Saturday morning to a small crowd of volunteers signing up to do whatever work Jack London SP needed. Pretty awesome! Treats and coffee were donated by Peet’s Coffee to give us all a little energy for the workday ahead. The hubs and I checked in and more and more people kept streaming in to join the crowd of volunteers. So great to see so many people wanting to make a small change in a beautiful park!
First of all, I would like to mention how dedicated Sonoma County residents are. We all love where we live and want to preserve it. We are all in this together so let’s get this done. Chatting along with everyone we heard how most of the other CalParks were booked solid with volunteers. How awesome is this?
Second, I would like to mention how friendly and down to earth Sonoma County residents are. Everyone is family. This amazes us every time we get together with a bunch of Sonoma County people. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you were from before, or if you are young or old. Everyone is family.
Ultimately we were broken up into 2 groups. One group was to clear french broom, the other group was to clear the brush along the fire road that skirts the vineyards. The hubs hates broom of any kind so we joined that group!
We grabbed gloves and our packs and headed down the horse trail to the large patch of french broom we were there to clear. The project was explained to us and we were also told to watch out for poison oak then we were let loose on clearing the broom. Boy did everyone go at it and before you knew it we were 10 feet in, then 20 feet in no time at all! Maneuvering through the eucalyptus grove and dodging poison oak, everyone plowed through faster than any machine could.
The volunteers were done with a large area in about 2 hours! Impressive! Then we were let loose in the park until lunch. The hubs and I walked around Beauty Ranch and enjoyed the gorgeous spring day. The wildflowers were absorbing the sunshine and dancing around, the vines had new growth on them and the oaks were showing off their new leaves. The cottage was open, we walked around it. All of these historic buildings we normally walk on by, we explored. Jack London was a visionary for sure! To have known him when he was alive would have been a real treat. His love of life is definitely still alive in Sonoma County.
As we all gathered under the shade of the oak trees to wait for Subway’s donation of sandwiches we started chatting with a nice couple. They have lived in Sonoma for 46 years! Holy wow! It is so wonderful for us to hear stories of how things “used to be” and we revel in the idea of how much change they have seen over the years. Being typical Sonomans, they took our photo and emailed it to us! We rarely get a good, non-selfie, photo of us when out on the trails this was a real treat! 🙂 Thanks Alan and Sandy! See you both on the trails!
Next time you see a volunteer opportunity, go for it. It won’t be scary. Everyone is super nice and you will not be expected to do anything without instruction and it will be for all skill levels. Maybe try and grab one of your friends and go get dirty and do something good for the earth. She’ll appreciate it!
Jack London State Historic Park is always open to volunteers, check out their website for more details. See you at the next trail day!
Things We Love:
Tecnu is always in our backpack! You never know when you are going to brush up against poison oak on the trails! The hubs and bosslady try so hard not to come in contact with it but there are trails and times when it just can’t be avoided. During the clean up, there was a lot of poison oak in the area. If the oils were on another plant next to it and you touch it, you could be exposed. Knock on wood we haven’t experienced a reaction from poison oak on any of our over 100 hikes. We wipe down with Tecnu if we know we were exposed, we avoid it like the plague and we take precautions on how we remove our clothing. We don’t know if either of us are allergic to poison oak and really don’t think we ever want to find out the hard way! 😀