Graton News & Events Jan 2010
Two pounds of hope for the new year! Hand tossed! The Sonoma County Regional Park Department provided the Graton Trail Stewards and Keepers (Graton TSAK) with two pounds of native California wild flower seeds for the West County Trail. Helen Kenchaloe of Graton, Chelsea Dare of San Francisco and I had the pleasure of tossing those seeds on the trail between Grey St and Occidental Road last December. For both shady and sunny spots on the trail, the Larner seeds contain several types of lupines, Chinese houses, and clarkias. The clarkias are the ones that did so well last year until someone pulled them up.
If one of the Graton column readers is the someone who killed the clarkias or knows the someone who killed the clarkias, it’s important to note that clarkias probably grew in that area before it became a sterile field of cinders when the train track was constructed. (I was told that the clarkias were destroyed in protest against the Graton TSAK, viewed by the vandalizer as a group of yuppie newcomers trying to gentrify the trail.) Also, due to the work of the Graton TSAK and the Graton Labor Center in trimming back the black berry bushes by hand, there are now about two dozen oak saplings thriving in the spaces that were cleared. As are there many other native plants. The diversity of plants on the trail has increased greatly since we started our work in clearing the blackberries by hand two years ago.
About 12 people from the Graton Centro Laboral showed up for December‚s trail keeping day, plus Karin Lease, Arnold Levine and Jane Kurtz from TSAK, along with Arnoldo from Sonoma County Regional Parks. Arnold and Karin headed up two Blackberry SWAT (Special Ways and Tactics) Teams while Jane the Amazon formed a team of her own. I massacred the Spanish language while Ignacio, Ernesto and Bosboly from Guatemala got rid of all the acacia saplings and did excellent Blackberry SWAT Team work at the Southern end of the trail. Bottom line: We got it ALL done! Blackberry lopers are trimmed, acacia saplings are gone. Plus, we are a few thistles less. We won’t need to have another trail keeping day until early summer!
Thanks to local high school students, those who live in Graton environs received flyers about the Graton Park project, offering opportunities to buy commemorative bricks for the park. Alicia Fittipaldi, Jason Simionato, Israel Montes, Ortenzia Flores, Jeff Sherrod, Nick Gaetano and Frank Robinson, students of New Horizon School in Santa Rosa provided after school prep support and volunteer school hours to prepare or deliver the flyers. The students received pay for the delivery funded through the school’s WorkAbility1 Grant which provides work training/ work/volunteer experiences for students with learning differences. Marianne Campbell, Director of New Horizons said, “They loved doing the work, knowing Graton might someday have a park and they might have some part in making that happen. The New Horizon WorkAbility1 slogan is “Caring About Community. These kids are the greatest!”
Local students, Ben and Brigid Hedlund from El Molino and Joey Hedlund from Willowside School also participated in distributing the flyers. Their work was funded by the Graton Green Group. Ben Hedlund says they look forward to helping more with the creation of their park in Graton.
Lesa Tanner of Graton writes, “A special light has gone out in the world. Sandee Lee Turner, born on November 18, 1956, died of cancer on December 13, 2009. Sandee was a treasured part of Oak Grove School, where she volunteered since 1977. She won Volunteer of the Year in 1992 from the Sonoma County School Trustees‚ Association and in 1999, Oak Grove‚s new library was dedicated as the “Sandee Turner Library.” A Celebration of Sandee's Life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on January 16, 2010 at Oak Grove School, 8670 Bower St., Sebastopol, CA 95472. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Sandee Turner Library, or your favorite charity.”