Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Jay Bonestell - Sweet Springs July Volunteer Spotlight

Current residence:  Los Osos

Volunteer since: I think for about 20 years, back when John Nowak & John Perkins were launching the monthly volunteer work parties.

What made you decide to start volunteering at Sweet Springs?  I always had a fondness for Sweet Springs & I wanted to help restore native plants, since the original preserve was dominated by invasive species that are hurtful to California's eco-systems.

What keeps you coming back?  I've been so encouraged by the successes of many native plants that were put in & so I want to be a part of this ongoing effort. I also consider volunteering in the preserve as a kind of sacred service to the Earth.

What has been your most memorable experience?  Mainly it's been watching the many cheerful young helpers you recruit, all joining in working to restore a beautiful nature spot. It's always uplifting to see so many nice people engaging in such wholesome, helpful activity. Oh, not to mention that my wife Ann & I were married at Sweet Springs in 1997!

Do you have any words of wisdom for first-time volunteers?  Only to say that you will really get a blessing seeing native plants you place in the ground thrive & also knowing that eventually, the land will be able to heal after decades of domination by non-natives.

What do you do when you're not volunteering?  One thing I do is to create artwork celebrating nature & local scenic places, as well as doing paintings of California birds. I also love to go surfing in Morro Bay.  Besides volunteering at Sweet Springs & the Elfin Forest, I like planting native plants around my yard.