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Volunteers for the earth



On April 22, 41 state parks will be participating in the 19th annual California State Parks Foundation’s Earth Day. Since 1998, Earth Day has allowed the community to give back to California State Parks. This year at Montaña de Oro, volunteers will help build bridges, split rail fences and boardwalks, conduct cleanups, restore trails and habitats with native plants, and install recycling bins and irrigation systems.

“It’s a pretty broad mix. There are people passionate about taking care of parks, that’s our core group. There are also people interested in the well-being of the community,” Christina Mueller from the foundation said. “There are plenty of families that come out, and sometimes there’s people just looking for something to do.”

EARTH WORK:  Volunteers work on projects as part of PG&E’s annual Earth Day event at Montaña de Oro State Park. - PHOTO COURTESY OF PG&E
  • EARTH WORK: Volunteers work on projects as part of PG&E’s annual Earth Day event at Montaña de Oro State Park.

Volunteers will have two projects to work on during Earth Day, according to Mueller. One will be working on a native demonstration garden, repairing the boardwalk, repairing the path base, and treating the planter beds. The other will focus on coastal bluff protection and restoration, where volunteers will put up fencing so the access trails are defined, as well as covering unwanted trails so visitors don’t crush the flora.

According to a press release from PG&E, more than 83,785 participants have contributed to 334,301 volunteer hours of work over the past 18 years, with park maintenance and improvements worth nearly $6.6 million.

PG&E is providing a $200,000 grant to fund 10 Earth Day projects in Northern and Central California. This year, Montaña de Oro received a $5,000 grant for their projects.

“We have a neat Earth Day event. We’ve been involved in the [California State Parks] Foundation for 16 years, doing different events like stewardship projects for all these years,” said Mark Mesesan, a spokesperson for PG&E. “We just like to ask our customers and members of the community to help us make a really neat event to make some positive impacts for our environment and Montaña de Oro.”

Last year, 75 volunteers helped at the Montaña de Oro Earth Day event.

PG&E is also funding Earth Day projects at Angel Island State Park, Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, Half Moon Bay State Beach, Henry W. Coe State Park, McConnell State Recreation Area, Millerton Lake State Recreation Area, Mt. Diablo State Park, and Sonoma Coast State Beach.

“PG&E cares deeply about its customers and the community,” Mesesan said. “Environmental stewardship is important to our company, as well as providing safe reliable energy, and protecting our air, waterways across this beautiful state we live in.”

People who are interested in volunteering at the Montaña de Oro Earth Day event can sign up at The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and volunteers will be meeting at the Spooner’s Cove parking lot.

Fast facts

• The San Luis Obispo County Law Library is celebrating National Law Day on May 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. by hosting an open house and community outreach event to bring awareness to the no- and low-cost legal and social services available to the community. It will be held at the SLO County Superior Courthouse and Law Library, 1050 Monterey St., room 125.

Cal Poly Safer presents Take Back the Night 2017 on April 27 on campus at the UU Plaza starting at 11 a.m. and in downtown SLO’s Mission Plaza starting at 5 p.m. The evening will include a march through downtown, a candlelight vigil for survivors and those who have lost their lives to sexual violence, an art gallery, and an open microphone. The event comes at the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. For more information, check out

• A 16-year-old Shell Beach resident qualified to compete in the 2017 Women’s Junior Olympics National Championships held May 5 through 7 in Indianapolis. Tia Gin—one of seven gymnasts in her age group selected to compete for Region 1 (which includes, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah)—is a San Luis Obispo High School student and Level 10 gymnast with Performance Athletics Gymnastics.

New Times intern Kristine Xu wrote this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send story ideas to [email protected].

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