Stream and Park Cleanup: Mid-Atlantic Region
Members of the Sri Sathya Sai Center of Fairfax, VA and Capital Area Sai Group in Washington DC participated in a stream cleanup in Centreville, VA on April 9, 2022, as part of Sai and Sustainability Day, a nation-wide day of Envirocare activities held to observe Sri Sathya Sai Baba's Aradhana Day (April 24) and Earth Day (April 22).
Sai volunteers chose to clean up the watershed area of Little Rocky Run, an urban neighborhood, where a creek-bed, feeder stream and storm water pond were filled with trash. Fairfax Sai Center members have been volunteering for about 5 years with Friends of Little Rocky Run, a group that strives to improve the ecological viability of the watershed. On April 9, more than 25 Sai volunteers turned out to clean up the feeder stream that was clogged with trash, mainly plastic bags and bottles. Members had previously cleaned the area two weeks ago, and yet more trash had accumulated.
Ned Foster, president of Friends of Little Rocky Run, said, “The Sai volunteers are so motivated and so pleasant to be around. They are first-rate and work hard. We picked up 32 bags of trash today.” Foster said that it is getting harder and harder to recruit volunteers; therefore, he is particularly grateful for the Sai volunteers’ participation. “They are amazing!’
A member of the Capital Area Sai Group reflected, “Spending the morning with my Sai family and caring for Mother Earth was the perfect way to spend a beautiful spring morning.“
Nearby, several Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) children eagerly donned gloves to pick up litter and trash. “There is a lot of trash,” said one student, “and I want to make the place cleaner. Sri Sathya Sai Baba taught us to care for our environment by not littering, and picking up after ourselves. We learn a lot about caring for the environment in our SSE classes.”
Another younger SSE student said, “It is our responsibility to clean up trash we create. It makes me feel angry that people don’t respect the environment.” The student, however, stressed that she overcomes her anger by “remembering Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s message to turn that negative energy into something positive, such as cleaning up the area.”
In addition, the Sri Sathya Sai Center of Charlottesville, VA cleaned up a park in Greene County, near Charlottesville, VA. Fifteen members split into 3 groups and collected an abundance of grocery bags, soda cans, and other trash. According to the center service coordinator, “By carrying out this activity, we realized the importance of keeping our environment clean every day, Earth Day or not, and that we need to practice environmental cleanliness in our everyday lives.”
Chitra Kumar, the National Environment Coordinator for the Sri Sathya Sai International Organization (SSSIO) - USA, remarked, “Sri Sathya Sai Baba says that Nature is our best teacher. Today, SSSIO members across the country were able to show their love for Mother Nature, and experience being one with Mother Nature which is precious.”