FOG volunteers honor Earth Day by planting trees

FOG Team With ShovelsSAN JOSE, CA: On Saturday April 21, FOG volunteers ventured out into a local park – Kelley Park in San Jose, right next to the Happy Hollow Zoo and Japanese Friendship Garden, to work in a little dirt and do their bit for Earth Day (April 22).

The event was a big tree plantation drive by an organization called that regularly does tree plantation, lawn replacement, watering of trees and plants, and many other environmental activities in close collaboration with the City of San Jose.

The FOG team – Mohan Trikha, Mini Sawhney, Sanjeev Sharma, Henna Sawhney, Lakshmi Ramachandran, Sourav Datta and Lakshmi Iyer – was one of several teams that had volunteered for the effort. There were people from different age groups – high school students to 50+.

Before 9 am, the volunteers signed in and were given gardening/work gloves. A few minutes later, shovels were brought in a van and soon, the event coordinators got everyone to assemble around a mound in the park. It was time for a planting demo.

The coordinators explained the safe way to place a shovel on the ground (face down horizontally) and the steps in planting a tree – digging a hole, uprooting a young tree from its pot and placing it in the ground, covering up the hole and providing support structures.
The planting volunteers fanned out in different directions with their respective coordinators leading them.

The FOG team split into two – Mohan Trikha, Sanjeev Sharma and Lakshmi Ramachandran in one group and Mini and Henna Sawhney, Sourav Datta and Lakshmi Iyer in the second. Henna is Mini Sawhney’s daughter and is currently a medical resident.

Tree Solamina FOGThe participants learned a lot. For most of the FOG team, this was the first time they had ever planted a large tree. That day, we learned about an augured hole (one that was dug by a machine) versus a non-augured one (one that has to be dug manually).
We got to know that the hole had to be flat at the bottom, “like a tuna can” in the words of the coordinators, so that water does not accumulate and rot the roots of the young sapling.

We used a pickaxe to loosen up the soil, which was hard like a stone in some parts and then shoveled out the dirt, taking turns doing the hard labor. Mini became “Mini Mound” of the second team, stamping on the dirt at the bottom to even it out.
Next, we uprooted the sapling, removed the soil and twigs around the roots to expose them and placed it in the dug hole.
We shoveled the dirt back in and made a mound around the tree.

The coordinators arranged for buckets of water that we poured into the ground around the tree.

Lastly, we affixed three wooden posts around the tree in a triangle, using a heavy lead tool to stick them into the ground. This was something new and required the wearing of hard hats. One person on the ground had to kneel and tilt the post while another inserted the lead tool onto the top of the post and once the post was straightened, used the handles on either side to push it down along with the post.

Finally, horizontal wooden boards were drilled into the posts using a power drill. The team of Sourav, Lakshmi (Iyer), Mini and Henna named their tree – a Golden Rain – “Solamina FOG”, using two letters from each of their first names.

The team of Mohan, Sanjeev and Lakshmi (Ramachandran) named their tree “SanjeeviniSunSol FOG”.

The city of San Jose Parks and Recreation department will take care of the trees in the garden afterwards.

It was a very rewarding experience for everyone and this is how they described it:

Sourav Mini Transfer TreeSanjeev Sharma: “Everyone come out and let’s plant more trees to save the planet and make it healthy to be healthy.”
Mohan Trikha:“Planting two FOG trees on the Earth Day was a great experience and wonderful team experience and fun.”
Mini Sawhney: “My daughter and I had a very good experience and everyone did such great work.”
Sourav Datta: “It was a wonderful experience, felt really good to make a difference on Earth Day planting trees. Kudos to FOG Team!!!”

The greatest, the Thomas fire, has effectively consumed 96,000 sections of land north of Los Angeles – a territory more than twice the size of Washington, DC. one such initiative to plant more trees and help people around Los Angeles to avail tree services is Tree Service Los Angeles
A blend of warmth, crack lighting, dry spell and congested timberlands, specialists say are the reason behind such fires.





Lakshmi Iyer

India Post News Service

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