Saturday, February 3, 2018

Epic volunteer workday result!

Before and after!
This weekend's volunteer workday was planned to have two tasks: weed the pathways at PRG and a tutorial on how to propagate some Salvias. It didn't quite go as planned...

Since last workday, the homeless encampment at the garden had been growing and becoming more of a concern. I'd contacted 311, Caltrans, DPW, SFPA and others in an effort to clear the site without calling in the police or CHP. It didn't appear that much was happening from any agency as nobody responded that it would be taken care of.

Aditi, Marcus and Sharon
Feeling pretty annoyed by that, I decided we could clear it ourselves as long as it was vacant, and I prepared with extra gloves and trash bags.

On the day though, thank goodness, the camp was empty and in fact had been burned to the ground, which is really concerning as it was very close to a building and clearly burned hotly and for quite some time...

That's a lot of used needles...
Many plants nearby had been destroyed, or burned. Strewn with trash, 20+ used needles, used condoms, vomit and feces, the whole back area was truly disgusting. My brave volunteers dove right in and started cleaning, carefully putting needles in our sharps container and bagging up the waste with no complaints. YOU GUYS ROCK!

Not for trash
I also removed a huge bag of trash from inside one of the composters. Please don't throw trash in there folks!

In total we removed almost a dozen trash bags of waste and a couple of old Christmas trees and other burned wood to the street side. Using the 311 app I called in a pickup, and DPW picked it up a couple of hours later.

One of the Coprosmas
After that task was done, most of the team moved down to PRG and worked to clean weeds from the pathway. In the meantime, I gave Aditi a tutorial on propagating Salvias and sent her home with enough cuttings to keep her busy till next month! She'd donated two lovely Coprosmas to the garden, as well and we planted those right away - they look great.

Chris cleaning trash
Matt cut down some Yucca branches in preparation for planting in the back area as well, and worked on re-leveling the pathway a bit.

Huge thanks to everyone who came and helped: Chris, Aditi, Sharon, Marcus, Leslie, Matt, Sarah, Yannicka and Hilary made a huge difference to our neighborhood today. Thanks also to Louk who dropped off oranges and water for the crew - much appreciated neighbor!

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