Mar 29, 2019
by Lucy Hardcastle
As I write this article, the sun is shining. Planet earth has decked herself in vivid green, her faithful response to our recent rainfall. Daffodils and poppies are in bloom. So are the apple trees. “It’s fairyland” a friend from London observed last Spring. Birds are out and many of the piles are gone.
If you live along the river, you know the piles I’m talking about. The mountains of mud soaked toxic debris that not so long ago were cherished possessions. Ruined boxes of family mementos mixed with old cans of paint, sodden mattresses, favorite blouses, stained bookcases, chairs, broken crockery and more. All sopping wet and beginning to mold.
My job with West County Community Services was to reach out to our low-lying neighbors affected by the floods. As soon as the water receded, I walked through Hacienda and passed out information on red tags, yellow tags, debris removal and the like. There I ran into people covered in muck, exhausted from clean up and anxious about what’s next. Walking those same streets, a week later I saw neighbors, still bone tired, helping one another. They were sharing their flood of 2019 stories. I saw humor, I saw connection, I saw hope. And I saw a sense of relief for the first time.
That relief? It came because Lynda Hopkins and her fellow Board Members scrounged up the financial resources to scoop up and remove those horrendous piles. It was the first, best step to restore hope. Those depressing piles were weighing us down as they reminded us of what was lost. There is a long, long way to go for the businesses ruined, the marginalized to find housing, the economy to boom again along our River, but no doubt it will. We are resilient.
What about the next time a disaster strikes you may ask? What have we learned? What else do we need to do to prepare? To address how we can do a better job as a community setting up neighborhood groups to count on in an emergency, the FPA is hosting a Town Hall Meeting Sunday, May 19 from 3-5 at El Molino library. The topic? Emergency Preparedness! Put it on your calendar. We’ll have a map of your neighborhood escape routes and alternatives. Come meet our firefighters and talk with them in person.
The annual Gala to support Forestville School is coming up Saturday, April 6 from 4-8 at Trappe Hall, 7777 Martinelli Road. Think delicious food, lovely wines, amazing auction items, great music and the best cause of all, our kids. The Education Foundation knows how to throw a party. Tickets are $40 each. Buy them right at the school or online at www.forestvilleusd.org. under “About Us” and click “Foundation.” By the way, the school welcomes back it’s 7th and 8th graders and looks forward to working with staff and Board for a seamless transition in Project Based learning.
The Fun Run is coming up the last Sunday in April. It starts at the downtown park on April 28 with registration beginning at 7:45 am, Timed Run start at 8:30 and the event goes till noon with food, music, prizes and an ambitious goal, to build a Skate Park for Forestville. $35 ahead of time either at Fred’s Liquor or online at forestvilleskatespot.com ($20 under 18.) It costs $10 more on race day so register now, plus you don’t have to actually run, you could walk or stroll and take in the beauty along the way.
Skip forward to celebrate our newly elected Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Max Broome on Saturday, May 11th. Max currently serves on the School Board, was President of the FPA for years and helped write the Open Space grant that got us the downtown park. Along with Max we recognize two Volunteers of the Year, Amy Nultemeier and Nick Alberigi as well as Business of the Year, DW Enterprises. That means those $45 tickets at the Druids Hall will be at a premium, so don’t wait to buy yours!
Community Fund Applications are now online with hard copies at the Service Station and Forestville Pharmacy. If you have a project you feel fits the guidelines, check it out. Go to 95436.org and click on Community Fund. There you will find not just the application form and guidelines, but what has been funded since 2008. Each year $10,000 is distributed back to our community from the good will of our two quarries. This fund was set up for downtown improvement and community benefit.
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