Earth Day 2015, One View

You know how sometimes there are tasks you tackle that turn out to be just so satisfying? Today was one of those times for me.

A crew and I were out on one of Oakland’s very fine spring sunshine days, hackin’ and hewin’ all the vegetation we usually see around April and May. Amazing to know that even with this persistent drought, the full complement of weeds made such a glorious appearance here on Earth Day 2015.

The team had whackers, clippers, rakes, and bags for trash and green, and they made short work of each in the Montclair village area, Oakland.

We started the morning off with coffee, bottled water, donuts and bagels in Montclair Park, near the children’s play area. After fueling up, picking up gloves and garden weapons of choice, the teams headed out. Some stayed and worked in the park. I led a crew along Mountain Blvd to the public areas and medians near Park Blvd and the highway 13 on/off ramps.

The crew members must have been practicing Buddhist attention and mindfulness because they were pulling up all the weeds and every shard of glass on the walking path next to the highway 13 fence.

I had my 40-year old manual weed whacker, aka, sickle, and which I learned this week is actually called a grass whip (see photo.) I was practicing my golf swing along that walking path, across 13 on an exit ramp, back over to Mountain, into the median strips and at the highway 13 on/off ramp. Boy, did I get my sense of accomplishment on! And the team was kick butt for the few hours we were out there, until it was time to head back to the park for some serious picnicking.

The Montclair Village Association put on a terrific spread of burgers, dogs, many salads, desserts and all kinds of drinkables. And we invited the cops and fire crews, and a couple dozen, mostly cops, showed up, including Kaiser the police dog. It was fun and conviviality—a great way to honor our small place under Mother Earth’s sun.

We understand there were 80 locations around Earth Day that had folks out making a difference. If you were one, I hope your time was satisfying too. Here’s to doing it not only yearly on Earth Day 2016, but on the many occasions until then that find you motivated to helping make Oakland cleaner, greener, and more litter-free.

Grass Whip

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