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Santa Clarita CA
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Today in
S.C.V. History
March 20
2012 - County supervisors approve 50-year operating agreement for Placerita Canyon State Park [read]

Commentary by Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel
| Sunday, Feb 23, 2014

DianneErskineHellrigelSo, how’s that New Year’s resolution looking now? We’re two months into the year and approaching Spring, and I’m thinking those New Year’s resolutions are about as old as that New Year’s champagne.

Most of us vow to lose weight. Again. But in our hearts, we know this resolution won’t last. And that’s OK because we can try it again next year. Sound familiar?

I have a better idea for you. It’s time that you resolve to Give Back All Year Long.

What do I mean by this? Well, there are lots of people out there who pick up trash in your city and your forest; who work to keep the endangered condors safe by removing micro-trash from their habitat; remove graffiti; help at-risk kids; improve neighborhood trails to keep you safe while you hike, bike or ride your horse. I could go on and on about all of the wonderful things people do for you, and you’ve never noticed.

This year, you can make a resolution you can keep.

vol_IMG_4048There are many organizations that could use your help. A sampling might be:

1) The Boys and Girls Club in Newhall. We need mentors. Contact Matt Nelson at matthewn@scvbgc.org.

2) Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority: We need trail maintenance volunteers. And since this has the added benefit of exercise, you might even be able to accomplish that old resolution of yours. Contact Steve Ioerger at Machiamist@aol.com.

3) Placerita Nature Center has docent programs where you can take kids on hikes, help in the docent gift store and much more. Contact Russ Kimura at rkimura@parks.lacounty.gov.

vol_girl scouts 63434) You can opt to help schools, or the Senior Center, or a church, or a Scouting troop. All of these organizations are always in need of a helping hand.

5) Join the Community Hiking Club (it’s free) and help out in the many stewardship activities we do each month – condor clean-ups, graffiti removal, trash clean-ups, events for at-risk kids, Santa Clara River clean-ups, National Forest trail restoration, non-native invasive plant removals, and more. Contact me at zuliebear@aol.com.

vol_IMG_0053Plan to do something that will make you feel good about yourself and help someone else at the same time. Resolve to volunteer. There is no better way to feel better about yourself, make someone else’s life a little better, help the environment, or change a child’s life.

There are also opportunities to become a hike leader with the Community Hiking Club, where you can take kids and adults on local hikes and into Santa Clarita’s forests. Yes, Virginia, Santa Clarita is surrounded by the Angeles National Forest and wilderness areas.

Volunteering is a great way to give back, to open your eyes to many different things you might not have known about before. Enrich your life while you enrich someone else’s.


Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel is executive director of the Community Hiking Club and president of the Santa Clara River Watershed Conservancy.


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