My community extends far beyond the boundary of my street. It transcends physical distance and extends to the people who support me in what I do. Not only do they support me, but point out my flaws so I can improve myself. My community is made from the people who are willing to struggle with me against great odds. I am thankful for my friends and my community.
On Saturday, May 2nd the Lemon Hill Neighborhood will hold a clean up day to be attended by community volunteers. Located in the Parkway-South area, the event is scheduled to start at 9 am with a light breakfast, and will be followed by clean up efforts until 2 pm.
A variety of work will be performed, mostly centered on trash pick-up. Anyone who has driven down the freeway can see that Sacramento is not a litter-free city, and disposing of unsightly garbage is a method of beautifying the neighborhood that most people can get behind.
“We, the residents of Lemon Hill, are concerned of the illegal dumping, trash, and graffiti that has been going on lately,” said Ziola Hernadez, coordinator of the event. “We want a clean, safe environment for our children and our community to beautify our neighborhood.”
The event will be hosted in partnership with local institutions including Mutual Housing California, whose mission is to “advocate for sustainable housing that builds strong communities through resident participation and leadership development,” according to their website. Will C. Wood Middle School, which in the direct vicinity of Lemon Hill, and Building Healthy Communities are also sponsoring the event.
Funded by the California Endowment, Building Healthy Communities is an organization that like Mutual Housing works to build strong neighborhoods, as well as healthy neighborhood residents. They are doing this “by improving employment opportunities, education, housing, neighborhood safety, unhealthy environmental conditions, access to healthy foods and more,” according to their website.
Anyone and everyone is encouraged to donate their time and energy to help maintain the beauty and cleanliness of the area.
Combining their efforts with members of the community, the Ubuntu Green Volunteer Squad was recently able to build nine planter boxes in South Sacramento’s Lemon Hill neighborhood. Katie Valenzuela and Emilio Balingit, Ubuntu Green’s administrative coordinators, lead the project alongside the parents and longtime residents of an area apartment complex.
There were no wheelbarrows or buckets for the children of the complex to use for their gardens, so they made their own. One of them picked up an abandoned shopping cart from a nearby empty lot and sealed the openings with cardboard. It became the makeshift wheelbarrow which was used to haul dirt from the parking lot to the apartment courtyard.
As residents saw the commotion upon entering the apartment gates, they began to join in on the planter box building endeavor. At around 12:45 there were approximately 50 residents helping to build the boxes. It was a great way to kick off the approaching spring planting season.
Within two hours, the one-ton delivery of gardening soil was relocated and evenly distributed within each of the nine planter boxes. Ubuntu Green provided the residents with starter plants consisting of tomatoes, basil, squash, thyme, celery and strawberries.
Ubuntu Green is a community based non-profit organization which also manages a community garden behind the Home Cash Market in Oak Park. The garden is open every Wednesday from 3-6 p.m. Anyone who is interested in learning more about urban agriculture is encouraged to visit.