It was a good day on March 15th, to have neighbors meet up with the volunteer group Community Preservation Task Force, under the leadership of SSF Safety Inspector Thomas Carney. This time the event took place in Paradise Valley and included a general clean up and tree planting at the newly renovated Paradise Valley Pocket Park and in the neighborhood as well.
Students from South San Francisco High School were on hand to help with this community event as well as satisfy the community hours needed. Councilmembers Liza Normandy and Rich Garbarino came by to encourage the work. In addition former Mayor Pedro Gonzalez showed up ready to work as he has for nearly every event hosted by the Fire Department’s CPTF since it was created in 2002 . Pedro was instrumental in the group’s start and continues to be a strong supporter. He always has the ‘roll up your sleeves let’s do this attitude’ which is infectious for all those working side by side and he can match anyone shovel for shovel.
Firefighters treated the group to lunch with a BBQ at the Paradise Valley Pocket Park and fire admin staffers Michelle O and Caitlain B did double duty with tree planting and serving food. Thanks to Orowheat Bakery for providing food as well as one of their staff, Damien. Neighbors called Damien the ‘heavy hitter’ as he climbed the ladder and pounded down the wooden stakes that support the trees.
Neighbor and community leader Sonny Koya said, “It was good to work with my neighbors and I wish more would have come out. Joe K and I were at the PV Pocket Park from before the event started until after it was over. We accomplished a lot; loading up, cleaning, passing out flyers, digging holes for trees, etc.” He continued “Hey, it’s our neighborhood and we proudly did it. We even had one of our youngsters happily join in. Blake did a great job and it was good to also work with Kim H. and Lisa M.”
Lisa Molinari echoed the sentiment that it was a great experience. “We planted some trees at the Pocket Park and then we divvied up the houses. I got my tree, and I planted two extra trees on Belmont with the help of my planting team, volunteer kids, they rocked! I met some great people and had a nice little barbecue after.” If there could be any changes for the next event, what would it be? Lisa replied, “It would have been really nice to see more of our neighbors. I did give CPTF my contact information and I look forward to the next event.”
Tom Carney reports there were 20 trees planted during this event between the PV Pocket Park and in front of neighborhood homes. The Community Preservation Task Force meets monthly for a working lunch on the second Wednesday of the month, 11:30am at the MSB in the Betty Weber Room. More information can be found HERE. The CPTF group also hosts bi-annual E-Waste collections at the Fire Station on Canal. To view previous CPTF events click HERE.