Today was my big day! This morning from 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. I was at the North Natomas Regional Park to help clear weeds and water trees that were in desperate need of some TLC. As I have mentioned in the past, once a month I lead a park clean-up project with youth. Unfortunately, I had a slow-to-no volunteer show up today. It was a bummer but I understand, kids are getting ready for school, soccer tournaments and football, everyone is busy. So, I decided to turn the unlucky situation into a good opportunity. I began pulling weeds just as I would have otherwise.

Although there were no youth volunteers, there were a few special ladies that are worthy of recognition; Elena Quintero, District One Parks Liaison for the City of Sacramento Department of Parks and Recreation, Luanne Leineke, Stewardship Coordinator of the Sacramento Tree Foundation and local neighbor, Caryne Anglin. These women came together because of the lack of attention a handful of trees were receiving and decided to lend a helping hand. Leineke shared her wisdom of trees with us. For example, she explained gall wasp nest that can be found on trees and leaves as ‘Hershey kisses’. Each gall differs in size and color from dozens of different species of wasps. I never knew!

The Sacramento community is made up of great individuals who care about the environment. This became evident to me when I began speaking with Mrs. Caryne Anglin of Sacramento. She is a local resident to the North Natomas Regional Park area and has recently taken the extra effort to care for dozens of baby trees near her home. She jokingly says, “These trees don’t know the difference of if they are cared for or not.” But it is clear that Mrs. Anglin does more than care for them when she takes the extra step to bring buckets of water, on a wagon, from her home to water the trees during the hot summer days.  In fact, it was Mrs. Anglin who reminded the City of Sacramento to tend to the plants that have been planted at a cost. There was money spent to plant these trees so why not try to keep them alive? The trees have been neglected because of recent construction and with budget cuts there isn’t enough employees to keep up with park maintenance. It is unfortunate that there are trees in the city of trees being neglected but we are also extremely fortunate to have a community that is willing to come together to beautify our everyday surroundings!