by Kris Olsen
Leading a site? Sound unappealing? Not at all. I mean, if you are bringing your own crew, you need to juggle maps, e-mails about parking, and possible hazards; but on the upside, you get to boss people around for half a day and they actually listen to you.
This year’s adventures began with excellent weather, a beautiful backdrop, plenty of tools and hands to wield them. Our site was Hansen Ranch in Rio Linda.
Being at the bottom of the watershed, where most flotsam goes to die, the area was definitely in need of our attention! As a result, we collected quite an array of interesting "junk & gunk." That would include a giant coke bottle, more than ten tires with rims (who loses a tire with the rim still on it, I ask you?), a huge water heater, a couple of tubes of lip balm, balls of all sizes and states of inflation, a wounded Barbie, your usual helping of recyclables, and an infinite number of styrofoam chunks from those disposable coolers. Not that it means they ever really go away after you "dispose" of them, as I have discovered, they just get smaller. I recommend an immediate intervention for anyone who is seen buying one of those evil things.
In addition to lots of trash, our crew removed a large patch of non-native invasive plants, red sesbania, leaving the area open for native vegetation to flourish in addition to
protecting the resident cows from eating the poisonous seed pods.
All in all, this was one Saturday morning where you can tell your friends that you did more before 11:00 a.m. than they did all day. I felt that I had really earned my t-shirt and hot dog by the end! I hope that next year you can join us for another rewarding Saturday morning of community service. Who can turn down a free hot dog & commemorative t-shirt? Sign me up!
This article originally appeared in our Summer 2006 Newsletter