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November 5, 2010 > Make a Difference Day

Make a Difference Day

Submitted By Nelson Kirk, Union City Public Works

Photo courtesy of Laurie Radovich

Every year, Make a Difference Day (MADD) in Union City is a great success. Community members step forward and volunteer their time and effort to make the day special and productive. This spirit is alive and well in our city and the splendid turnout of volunteers has become an established tradition.

The city's Public Works Department organized green-themed projects to help nurture our parks. Our employees always enjoy working with volunteers and appreciate their help in maintaining Union City as a desirable place to live and work. Everyone derives a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment. This would not be possible without our citizens making a big difference.

This year, MADD activities on October 23 were fortunate to enjoy financial support from local business - Ruggeri-Jensen-Azar, Robert Mowat Associates, Roma Design, Lowes Home Improvement Center, Cresco Equipment Rentals, and Ghirardelli Associates.

At the Dry Creek/Meyers Park, owned by East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD), volunteers from Girl Scout Troop 31783, Union City Lion's Club, James Logan High School (JLHS) students and community members worked with EBRPD employees to plant roses, add composted mulch to flower beds, weed flower beds, move rocks, remove unwanted vegetation from the creek, plant herbs in raised beds, and rake debris for composting.

Volunteers from Cub Scout Pack 268 and community members at the Decoto Plaza Park built a granite walkway to help absorb rainwater and control weeds. Volunteers also spread engineered wood fiber around the playground to help cushion children when they fall. Six trees and nine flowering shrubs were planted. Flower beds were mulched to nurture the soil, retain moisture, and suppress weeds.

The Hillview Baptist Church group planted six flowering trees along Depot Road and nine cork oaks to help shade a parking lot and provide shelter and a food source for wildlife. Volunteers also removed litter along the railroad tracks. A great improvement in this area!

The William Cann Civic Center Park saw volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church) and community members plant flower beds and a flowering tree and rake up several large bags of debris for composting. Several areas were mulched to protect top soil from erosion. Church members also installed four bicycle racks to encourage more bike riding to Union City City Hall and the Library. Some walkways were power-washed and litter was removed.

At William Cann Memorial Park, JLHS students and community members met with Amy Evans from the Alameda County Resource Conservation District and removed ivy from riparian trees that line the old Alameda creek in a continuing effort to protect the trees and watershed. The conservation district supplied a new sign that reads "Old Alameda Creek" Watershed.

Cesar Chavez Park enjoyed the attention of volunteers from Cesar Chavez Middle School, Boy Scouts of America Troop 273, Cub Scouts Pack 110, JLHS students and community members. They planted flowering vines and mulched the bare areas to nurture the soil, which helps retain moisture and prevent soil erosion. A Montezuma Cypress was planted in a low, wet lawn area to help filter and absorb run off before reaching a storm drain, and a flowering tree was planted to help cool a concrete pad and picnic table.

The Holly Community Center benefited from the efforts of Boy Scout Troop 110, JLHS students, community members and Chabot College students. They planted low-litter flowering shrubs and trees, which will reduce the amount of rubbish that goes to land-fill sites, to help shade a parking lot and encourage pollinators. All planted areas were mulched to help prevent soil erosion, retain soil moisture and nurture the soil. Public works staff replaced existing irrigation equipment in this landscaped area with more efficient, water-conserving irrigation nozzles.

The combined effort on MADD enabled completion of these projects sooner rather than later and we thank everyone who volunteered for and/or sponsored the day's activities. We look forward to the community's continued interest and support.

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