In a world where everything is convenient and digitalized, it never hurts to go back to the basics. On Saturday, February 3, a motley crew of individuals whose lives were defined by service gathered for a park clean up. DIG Burbank hosted the event at 8 AM which ended at 10 AM, taking place at the Joslyn Adult Center Oasis off of West Olive Avenue. The weather was cold and on the precipice of the rainstorms that would definitely give the parks their very own hydra facial.
Derrick Baker, Program Recreation Coordinator for the Burbank Volunteer Program, seemed pretty enthused about the generous deed. “We’re out here doing a DIG Burbank event, which we do every first Saturday of the month. We sign up volunteers to come out for the city and help us beautify our parks. We do things like weeding and mulching, and cleaning up debris throughout our parks and different areas around the city. It’s a pretty valuable resource that we have, our volunteers come out for the city.
They help us because one, it helps take a lot of the burden off of the city. Our forestry unit has quite a daunting job to clean up all of our parks and keep our parks looking nice and beautiful. They do a great job but they need a little bit of help. They need a little bit of help helps or any little bit of extra helps,” he quipped. “For me I just like being a part of something where I am giving back to the community, and if I can do something that brings people together. You got people like families out here with their kids coming out here. You got little kids from 5 years old to grandparents up in their 70s and 80s that are out here helping us do this cause. So it’s a great opportunity to come out and spend some time in the morning. Get a nice little exercise as well, and just start the weekend off well.”
All walks of life were present at the volunteer event, with some going as far as the Midwest. Steffen, a Trader Joe’s employee, already had roots in Burbank public service and other industries. “I’m looking for a way to get involved in the community. In 2014, I was part of the Burbank Neighborhood Leadership Program. Had a wonderful time there. Learned a lot about leadership and the city and community. We gifted the city of Burbank Dewey the Dragon for the library system, to read to kids. That was a wonderful experience,” Steffen mused.
“I spent some 17 years in the film industry, and now that I work at Burbank Trader Joe’s, it’s gonna be more city, community, simple-minded. So I found the Burbank Volunteer Program just in the search of Burbank volunteer opportunities. I connected with Jackie there, and saw that I love being outdoors and gardening. My mom had a green thumb. I grew up in parks in Detroit, Michigan and how much they meant to me. So when I saw this opportunity for DIG Burbank, it was just a wonderful opportunity. Let’s marry all those together and be of service to the community. This is my first ever DIG Burbank event and it’s going really well. So looking forward to making the Joslyn Adult Center a little more beautiful.”