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Monday, July 21, 2008

Graton Laborers Nurture Butterflies

GRATON: Community & Butterflies Benefit from Graton Labor Center Program

Laborers from the Graton Day Labor Center provide valuable contributions to our communities.

On Wednesday, June 18th, day laborers from the Graton Day Labor Center participated in a national day of community service called Echando Raices, Putting Down Roots. The National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON) of which the Graton group is a member, is sponsoring this ongoing event which will include three more community action days that will take place between June and December. Worker centers and organized corners have formed work brigades that participated in community service projects across the country.

Community service is a tool of civic engagement that demonstrates to the local community and general public that day laborers are hard working and fundamental members of the communities in which they live and work. As workers promote their rights, they also step up to their responsibilities as community members. By participating in civic projects they can contribute to the local environment as well as exchange skills and ideas with the local community and create an awareness and understanding about issues relating to day laborers.

The Graton workers spent the morning working at Hallberg’s Butterfly Garden helping Louise Hallberg prepare for her annual Open House. Both Ms. Hallberg and her butterfly gardens are considered local treasures. Not only do the gardens serve as a refuge and breeding area for butterflies, they are also a learning lab for the thousands of Sonoma County school children and gardeners who have learned about the life cycle of the butterfly and the importance of environmental stewardship.

Workers representing the Graton Day Labor Center along with center volunteers and board members, twenty-five people in all, cleared garden beds, stacked wood, and removed blackberries. The workers helped to begin restoration of an area where Pipevine grows, a host plant for the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly. The highlight of the day was not only finding caterpillar eggs on the Pipevine but was the discovery of a big, fat black and orange Swallowtail caterpillar.


Local Contact:
Davin Cardenas 707-318-2818
Graton Day Labor Center
2981 Bowen St.
Graton, Ca. 95444

National Contact:
Pablo Alvarado
National Day Labor Organizing Network

Merrilyn Joyce