by Clayton Mayor Howard Geller
I am often asked by other City Officials, out of town family and even people who live in Clayton, “What makes Clayton such a great City to live in?” Being a cheerleader, my answer can be lengthy. I cover known facts printed in publications and journals describing Clayton as one of the safest and most desirable towns in California in which to live. If allowed, the next half hour’s conversation covers the vast list of “unsung heroes” who volunteer at the host of Clayton events each year.
I dedicate this column to our “unsung heroes, our volunteers.” I applaud Clayton’s seemingly tireless and endless number of volunteers. I commend all the volunteers in our youth sports programs, parent faculty clubs, schools and other community groups.
Let me give you a peek at the depth of community volunteerism (over 800) during these past few months.
“Clayton Cleans Up” brought over 170 persons, parents and children volunteering to clean up our creek beds, trails, and public areas. The event is organized by the Clayton Pioneer and co-sponsored by Republic Services, the Clayton Business and Community Association (CBCA), and the City of Clayton. Many of these volunteers were families with young children being taught personal ownership and pride in one’s community.
Clayton Historical Society – With over 550 members strong, the Clayton Historical Society held its annual Clayton Garden Tour featuring five homes. The tour required over 50 volunteers.
Clayton Valley Garden Club – With over 100 members, the Clayton Valley Garden Club held its annual plant sale. The members of this club grow all the plants they sell. They work with our local schools to help create raised garden beds and garden education programs, (54 volunteers).
Art and Wine Festival – Clayton hosted the 21st annual Art and Wine Festival organized by the CBCA. There were approximately 85 CBCA members, 75 adult community volunteers, 160 students and coaches from CVCHS and 20 Diablo Valley Ranch volunteers on hand throughout the two-day event.
Clayton Library Foundation – With 385 volunteers strong, the Clayton Library Foundation had 185 volunteers manning the recent Creekside Arts 2016 and their Used Book Sale.
Concerts in the Grove Park – Clayton’s Saturday night “Concerts in The Grove Park” series, Wednesday Night Concert Series and Classic Car, (20 volunteers).
4TH of July Parade – Our amazing 4th of July Parade brought out over a hundred entries, a 1,000 plus kids in their red white and blue walking down Main Street waving American flags, (30 volunteers).
Upcoming volunteer events to look forward to in coming months: CBCA’s Rib Cook-off, Oktoberfest, Labor Day Derby Event, various Christmas festivities, and a multitude of others too numerous to list.
Net profits from each fundraising event funnels back into our community in the form of donations for various student scholarships, school sports programs and other local charitable needs.
So when asked what makes Clayton a great City to live in, my short answer is the people who give back and volunteer. It is our silent heroes who unselfishly give their time and expertise to make Clayton a City we are proud of. Clayton is a City where you can make a difference. My hat is off to each one of these volunteers… you do make the difference. You make our City great!
Mount Diablo: Living at the base of Mt. Diablo, especially after the late spring rains, makes me want to dust off my hiking boots and explore the wonders it has to offer. I have often walked on some of the better-known trails. But after visiting the “Save Mount Diablo” website www.savemountdiablo.org, I realized the opportunities I have missed. Perhaps you have too.
There are maps and descriptions of all the trails. There is a detailed calendar of guided tours and self-guided tours and information about the hidden treasures you will see. For those of you not able to visit due to time constraints or physical disability, “Save Mount Diablo” has created audible guides you can download to your I-pads, computers or smart phones. These downloads will bring the mountain to you, including the sounds of birds, rustling leaves and babbling brooks. Downloading information to your phone before you set off on a hike will also unveil secrets of the trails you might otherwise miss via this technology trek.
Hot off the press is the newly published “Hiker’s Guide to Mount Diablo State Park”. I just received my copy and I can truly say it has revealed the many “mysteries” of Mount Diablo. It is stocked full of maps and trailhead information. The book breaks the mountain down into north, south, east and west trails and lists the difficulty of each trail. It explains what you might expect to find during the different seasons of the year.
The American Heart Association encourages all to exercise. What better way to spend time with Mother nature in our own back yard!