Monday, March 22, 2010

Walking the Watershed

In an attempt to take advantage of Disney's Give a Day, Get a Day program and work toward accomplishing #9 on the list (volunteer for a charity I care about), Tom and I headed to Monroe Middle School in City Heights on Saturday for a community event put on by San Diego Coastkeepers and Outside the Lens

Coastkeepers is a group dedicated to protecting the beaches, bays, rivers, and watersheds around the county; they provided trash bags and set up education stations along the half mile length of Swan Canyon. Outside the Lens is "a youth media literacy program dedicated to celebrating the vision and voices of children around the world and across cultures." Outside the Lens also happens to be working on a three-year project called Water in Focus, "a global photography project that calls youth to action as they document the use, waste, conservation, and pollution of our most precious resource through words and images."  

Outside the Lens seemed like a really cool organization, plus.. Kids? Cameras? Around the world and across cultures? Conservation and pollution? Words and images? Sign me up! So sign me (and Tom) up I did. We showed up Saturday morning, trudged down into the canyon, and helped to set up OTL's education station where we, along with four other volunteers, were to encourage people to sign a petition in support of the Water for the World Act and try to get people psyched up for the photographic scavenger hunt that OTL had created.

Now apparently the photographer who was supposed to cover the event didn't show up, so after my very supportive husband grossly oversold my photography skills, I found myself reassigned.Tom and I spent the next hour or so walking around the canyon taking pictures of all of the kids and families who had dedicated their Saturday to restoring the canyon. 

 learning about seed balls

 over 275 pounds of garbage removed from the canyon!

planting native species 

pledging to conserve

After a couple of hours of cleaning and learning about the canyon, participants marched out of the canyon to Hamilton Elementary for a closing celebration complete with performances by the teen dance troupe Transcendance, a skit about the dangers of plastic bags featuring the evil villain, Bag Monster, and a delicious array of tamales.

Bag Monster

handing out tamales

All in all, it was a great Saturday morning, made even better by a stray puppy found wandering the streets around the school.

If not for Tom's frequent reminders of our landlord's no pets policy, I would have scooped this guy up and taken him home. 

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