By Deb Kramer
Sunday, March 20th seemed like a typical spring day. The sun was out after a rainy night, but the forecast was for rain in the early afternoon. We showed up at the Campbell Farmers Market not knowing what to expect for our first tabling outing together with three new interns.
After setting up the table and putting out the artwork, Steve Holmes with South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition started sharing the messaging to us, about the restoration activities along Los Gatos Creek, the beaver, the batteries collected, how people can get involved. Now for the hard work. Luring people to our table. Our interns did a fantastic job.
Maya Briones, an Environmental Studies student at SJSU, shared her passion for community connections and the environment:
Tabling is a exciting way to reach out to the local community and start a conversation about what’s really important. It was a give and take experience; I would pitch my ideas and passions about our local creeks, and others would contribute new information, or share their talents and experiences with me, which I found to be the most interesting part. I loved hearing what my community members thought of our work, and how excited they became when they found that their talents, whether it be in the arts, or simply having new connections, could be integrated into our efforts. Every time someone thanked me for what I was doing, I was reaffirmed in my belief in what I was doing.
Dana Syriani is also a SJSU Environmental Studies student, and she showed excitement about connecting people with nature:
I loved tabling at Campbell’s farmers market! I got to educate the community of local environmental issues and raise their awareness on common things individuals commonly overlook. It was heart warming to see how many people actually wanted to help and was willing to volunteer time out of their chaotic lives. After a couple hours, more than 80 people signed up to help us in the Los Gatos Creek Clean Up. And these individuals were not only from one demographic; teenagers signed up, senior citizens signed up, I even saw a five year old encouraging her mom to sign up. I love talking to the community because over time you can see the gradual change of the public being disconnected from nature to caring and understanding the land and its resources.
Ashley Steele is a SJSU Sociology student, and she looks forward to sharing the work we’re doing with more people:
On Sunday, March 20, 2016, I began my internship with South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition and Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful. Our main goal by posting up at the Campbell farmers market, was to recruit the local community in signing up to volunteer and take action in cleaning up the Los Gatos Creek. Starting off, I was a bit hesitant in approaching people to talk about the growing issue of the creeks. However, it was easy to catch on with what I wanted to say thanks to the help of Steve and Deb. While there were many people who had no interest in taking time out of their day to speak to us about this ongoing problem, many were willing to help and signed up without any hesitation. There was shock in people’s faces when I explained the problem to them, and they realized how deep the problem really is. By using visuals to show the impact we have made from pre- to post- clean up, as well as how much trash animals intake and the art that has been created out of the trash, people showed real interest in what we had to say. I was pleased with the amount of people our team was able to get to sign up and want to help us. Overall, having a successful day at the market was even more fantastic because I had a fun time doing it. Being able to make people realize they can do something in order to keep their home clean and make a difference while having a good time made everything that much more satisfying. I cannot wait to expand the word and continue to make a difference.