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Burchell Hill Planting Celebrates Earth Day
Volunteers help unload a young oak Saturday morning, April 21 at Burchell Hill Park to begin planting 40 of the 80 new trees purchased through a CAL FIRE grant awarded to the City of Oakdale and Burchell Hill. All supplies and foliage was purchased through local venues and city money, drawn from city removal permits, was also utilized. - photo by Kim Van Meter/The Leader

Oakdale celebrated Earth Day on Saturday, April 21 by planting 40 of the 80 trees purchased through a CAL FIRE Urban Forestry Grant called “Leafing Out” that was awarded to the City of Oakdale in close cooperation with the Burchell Hill property owners. This unusual grant from CAL FIRE provided $7,500 for the tree planting in the Burchell Hill area and the City of Oakdale matched funds with $2,500.

Trees planted included red maple, pistachio, oak and gingko.

Working to oversee the effort were Linda and Bill Johanson and Diane and Mike Hancock, with Linda Johanson serving as lead coordinator.

“We’re really part of the Neighborhood Watch but we are also the Homeowner’s Group,” she said of the group putting forth the tree planting project and effort.

With the grant money, 80 trees were purchased and half of them went in on Saturday, with Burchell Hill residents, Lions Club members, the general community Cub Scouts and leaders from Pack 42 among those helping with the effort.

“The money that we got from the city, $2,500, that is money received for the permits people have to get when they take a tree out, so it was not from the general fund,” Linda Johanson pointed out.

She said the CAL FIRE grant was one of just four awarded and she noted the work of volunteers and former City Manager Steve Hallam in coordinating the paperwork to help insure the grant was approved.

“The support of the community has been fantastic,” she said. “Anthony Smith is our overseer from the city.”
Originally, Johanson noted, the state indicated the project would have to be done with state vendors.

“I fought them on that,” she said. “And we have used all local vendors, In The Garden, Signs by Randy and Ace Hardware.”

The trees were planted with a mapped out scheme, capitalizing on the style and size to determine where they were placed along the walking path and close to homes. Volunteers mobilized at 8:45 a.m. to start the planting, getting the bulk of work done before temperatures climbed past 90 degrees for the day.

The actual Earth Day this year was on Sunday, April 22.

The overall theme of this year’s Earth Day was Mobilize the Earth. Social and environmental issues have taken a backseat for world leaders, but the world can’t wait. So this year, Earth Day was a platform to make noise – for everyone to come together, refocus our energy, and demand that something be done. Rally. March. Vote.

Petition. Do something. All these actions count, and if people make enough noise, they’ll not only be making a real impact on their communities, the environment, society and the popular consciousness about the health of the planet, the powers that be will be forced to pay attention. Mobilize.

On April 22, hundreds of thousands of people gathered across the world to Mobilize the Earth on Earth Day.

Activities were as diverse and colorful as the people and places involved, but the joint Renewable Energy for All campaign by Earth Day Network and tcktcktck was one of the key themes for this year’s Earth Day.

If you’re still looking for ideas to help protect the earth, here are some tips from
Earth Day is a day for action; a chance to show how important the environment is to you.

Whether you organize an event in your community or teach a peer about environmental issues, Earth Day is about uniting voices around the globe in support of a healthy planet. Here are some ideas on how to get involved.

 • Organize a Day of Service
• Pledge an Act of Green
• Sign the Earth Day Petition
• Help us achieve Renewable Energy for All, ask your government to end fossil fuel subsidies, invest in renewable energy technology, improve energy efficiency, and make energy universally accessible
• Join an Earth Day campaign Arts for the Earth Athletes for the Earth Campaign for Communities Earth Day University Earth Day K-12 Eco Faith Reading for the Earth

And doing something for the Earth can be as simple as recycling your plastics, glass and aluminum cans. Here are some local places that provide recycling services.

The Oakdale Recycle Center and Public Scale 1477 S. Yosemite Ave. 209-847-8401 Riverbank Recycling 2780 Patterson Road (209) 863-8641

Oakdale Leader Editor Marg Jackson and Staff Reporter Kim Van Meter contributed to this report.