Bright and early, Saturday April 28, 2012, a group of our businesses gathered together at Corona Heights Park to make a difference. In partnership with the San Francisco Department of Parks and Recreation, the San Francisco Green Business Program, began its first ever volunteer event!
The golden sun shone down on the luscious grass as the crisp blue sky sat as our backdrop. Over 25 dedicated individuals from various businesses met behind the Randall Museum at the park. Joe Grey, volunteer coordinator for Parks and Recreation, stepped up to explain to everyone the importance of the work we would be performing today.
Corona Heights Park is one of many natural areas around the city of San Francisco. Though in an urban setting, just north of the lively Castro District, the park is home to native plant and animal species. Nature enthusiasts and city dwellers alike flock to the park for its beauty and stunning views of the city's skyline and bay.
Joe's and his crew do regular trail maintenance and habitat restoration at Corona Heights Park, making sure everyone can continue to enjoy and marvel at the beauty of the park. And here we were! A group of green businesses ready to get our hands dirty and break a sweat with the SF Parks and Recreation volunteer program. Name tags were handed out, sunblock was slathered on, and gloves were pulled on. We were ready!
A group of volunteers made their way to a green hillside towards the peak of the park to pull out invasive, non-native plants. The work done here was able to make room for growing native plants as well as increase the amount of resources available to them. Volunteers spread out amount the hillside pulling out weeds and plants as fast as they could find them. Nothing was going to stop this habitat restoration train with all their enthusiasm! Nobody kept count but we put away a lot of buckets of unwanted plants! Big green thumbs up!
The other group of volunteers steered down the park towards the dog park. As we hiked down one slope to the bottom of the hill, we faced the other job task: refilling dirt steps that went up the other side of the hill to the peak. As Joe informed us, during heavy rains, much erosion happens here which destroys the trail steps. Maintenance now by filling dirt into the steps and tamping it down will help to make a major difference when the rains come.
Of course, the only way to get this done was a....bucket brigade! A group of volunteers lined up from the bottom to the very top of the steps. Shovels and buckets in tow, it began with one bucket filled and passed up along the line of volunteers. More buckets filled and passed. When they reached the top they were dumped and other volunteers tamped down the newly filled step. Empty buckets then flowed back down the brigade. We sure did get a workout that day!
As the volunteer day came to a close, everyone came back together for a very great lunch provided by one of our recognized Green Businesses: NYSE Euronext. Yummy sandwiches, deserts, cookies, fruit, and refreshments were provided and well deserved after our hard day of improving Corona Heights Park. As this was a green volunteer event, all waste items were collected for recycling and composting as well.
Thank you to all our businesses who attended our event! You made a difference that day! GREAT JOB!!