Saturday, February 19, 2005

Second Action: Cleanup of Transient Camp - part 2

I am taking action in my community, well my future community. Today I went to the Gales Creek Cleanup in Forest Grove, Oregon. Which was sponsored by Pacific University, Americorps, and Clearwater Services. A grand total of 65 people showed up, which was more than expected. Most of them were students; however, a few of them were professors and there were a couple from Americorps. It was a great turnout, and also a beautiful day.

A group of 65 people can clean up anything. The transient camp was saturated with filth. There were literal mountains of garbage gathered, enough to easily fill two large dumpsters (not the kind outside of businesses, the kind used for construction) , unfortunately we only had one, but that will be for another day. We restored the beauty of the riparian zone with ease, and completed our project in only two hours, which was two hours faster than we thought it would take. This was a great example for me, in a way that a clean-up should be staged, or pretty much any sort of community help program.

With this clean-up I brought away some good knowledge for future community action works. First, it is important to publicize your cleanup/tree planting/what have you, in order to get allot of people to show up. Many hands really does make light work, I hardly felt like I did anything, as did many others, yet so many things were accomplished! A good idea for recruiting is to target fraternities and sororities, they will help with anything! Secondly, it is important to have a focused goal and stick to it. This is important, because when you start to veer away from your goal, your group loses focus and motivation. Thirdly, It is important to keep it short, the faster it can get done, the better. This will result in people willing to help again, and again. Lastly, it is a good idea to get some sort of snacks, and water. Even apple or orange slices, or some cookies, anything is appreciated.

Overall this was a really good experience, I feel good about myself for cleaning up a riparian zone, habitat to many plants and animals, and also I learned allot about how to set up an organized work group. It was a great experience, and I encourage anyone with an opportunity to join your community, and help make it a better place.

::Update - Febuary 22, 2005::
I just recieved an e-mail which said that our cleanup removed two and a half tons of garbage. That is amazing!

1 comment:

Ted said...

First, thank you for your comment at P!

Second, I want to let you know that personal, responsible, collective action is absolutely and exactly what I think a populist, progressive revolution is all about! Good on yuh!!

The editorial team at P! is almost finished hammering out our vision/mission statement. We'll post it soon.

A year and a half ago, on my previous (solo) blog (ddjangoWIrE), I published an essay titled "Of Rights and Responsibility". I'm presently trying to rework it a bit and will post the revised piece on P!. My main point is that we on the Left have been long on blaming the Right and protecting our "rights", while we've been real short on taking responsibility and being self-critical.

I'm glad you're here. You're linked (and don't be surprised if I say something nice about you at P!)