On November 4, 2017 Alhambra’s Earth Team rallied up the troops early on a Saturday Morning (their homecoming) to come lend a helping hand to Richmond’s Earth Team at Wanlass Park.
What a hard working group they proved to be! Richmond led the way, this not being their first rodeo, teaching Alhambra the tricks to the trade of tree planting. Interns were charged with digging 1′ x 3′ holes in extremely uncooperative soil that they used to plant their trees. Also joining the team that day were a few interns from Kennedy High School in Richmond, and a handful of UC Berkeley students. Together the group panted a successful 11 trees. Everyone left dirty, blistered, sore, and with accomplished smiles on their faces.
For the past two weeks Alhambra High Earth Team has had the opportunity to collaborate with JKF and Richmond High’s Earth Team’s to work on the design and production of a sustainability inspired mural in the City of Richmond. The Mural, when completed, will depict what the Bay Area is like now–polluted by industry and urbanization, and what the Bay Area could be like–clean waters, healthy ecosystems, community gardens. Students have been inspired and found a positive way to express themselves through this project and have received much positive feedback from passerby’s of the community during their workdays. Below are students reflections on the mural project:
“I think that the mural is a good way to motivate the community and us as Earth Team members to strive for a better environment. I like working with the other schools because it is cool to meet new people with the same interests and goals of helping the Richmond community obtain a nicer environment. By cleaning up Rumrill Blvd. with the work we have done so far, I feel that the community has seen a difference and fully supports what we are trying to do. The mural offers the end goal of what we want and I feel that even if someone glances at it everyday it could help change the way they think of the environment and the community.” -ALLI
“After helping out with the mural and seeing the overall layout, I feel people are going to really enjoy this mural we have created. Not only does it show artist view of mother earth but this will help people to know that our earth is beautiful if we make it beautiful. With the mural representing the beautiful example of what some might consider as “mother earth”, I think that this will give the aspect of how beautiful we should keep and preserve our earth. This will only give people a better reason to appreciate this mural and understand that our earth needs to respected and appreciated by everyone in the community.” -DHZYIA
“I think that the mural is going to help motivate the community into caring more about the environment and motivate them towards making a change in their environment. Getting to work on something that is going to make a big impact is very exciting. Working with a different school was also exciting because we got to work with people we didn’t know. This painting is hopefully going to make a big impact on the community and will help with environmental preservation.” -DONOVAN
“The public has been receiving the mural exceptionally well since we began painting. Although the mural had not been finished yet, people were acknowledging our outreach to the community, and I believe they will be grateful for our community involvement. Many people are passionate about the message in the mural. Community members want to see their city clean and flourishing (as depicted in the ideal reality in the left side of the mural). However, a truth that can’t be denied is that through litter and ignorance, our reality, often reflects the more grim and polluted aspect of the mural. Nevertheless, with a strong sense of community, and a common goal of cleaning and maintaining our earth, change can occur. And this idea is efficiently relayed through our mural.” -JAZLYN
On October 5, 2017 Alhambra’s Earth Team received an introduction to the workings of the EPA, their projects’ main funder; and a full description of the Rumrill Project given to them by special guest speaker Amanda Booth, City of San Pablo’s Environmental Program Analyst.
Along with the cigarette litter cleanup and community education that the interns are tasks with, Amanda dove deeper into the project explaining the other half of the Rumrill project ,’complete green streets’, which includes the implementation of ‘low-impact development’, widening of the sidewalks and bike lanes, and major aesthetic improvements. The ‘low-impact developments’ will filter water and aid in the capture and removal of litter. After Amanda’s presentation the interns seemed much more aware and part-of the project. A solid description of the worth of the project gave them the drive to take ownership. We will continue our efforts on Rumrill in the weeks to come.