Earth Day, waterfront cleanup draw crowds

With volunteer workers edging over a hundred adults plus innumerable child-helpers, the Earth Day celebration and Waterfront park cleanup event on Saturday simultaneously brought smiles to faces and much-needed order to park landscaping.

“This was a great turn-out,” said City Councilman Mark Zanmiller, on hand to push wheelbarrows and wield shovels with the best of them.

By late morning the wind was gusting, but adults carried on with weeding, laying bark, installing replacement native plants and generalized cleaning.

The junior gardeners, when not assisting the adults, were treated to a cavalcade of activities under the guidance of teachers from Cascadia Adventure Education School and other community programs. Homemade bows and arrows were tested in a cordoned-off safe zone and inflatable kayaks were taken out for spins on a sea of grassy fields, next to a full-sized teepee.

According to volunteers Diana Clark and Mary Hanrahan, who were there to tend their adopted plot known as “Salamander,” additional people are still needed to adopt other unclaimed areas.

“We took over this spot about two years ago,” said Clark. “Humble Roots nursery in Washington has been great about providing native plants. We’ve brought in some of our own, as well.”

Some of the plants chosen to repopulate unsuccessful older landscaping include thimbleberry, mugwort and Oregon grape, to name just a few.

Along with the hard work, the community gathered to celebrate and to educate the upcoming generations about their responsibility to shepherd the earth.

Stepping onto the swimming beach it took only a moment to find youngsters exemplifying the message of the day. Bucket in hand, a “team” worked together to “plant” some mustard flowers into the sand, construct a waterway and haul the precious resource into use.

The moment made it easy to see how readily humans can direct their work toward a shared, common goal. Contact the City of Hood River to help at (541) 386-1488.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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