Story and Photo by Ariana Crisafulli
“Knowledge is power” – the favorite saying of former mayor, Stephanie Dorey, was true on Earth Day, ’07. Everyone did their part to bring knowledge for a better world to the pier bowl on that sunny Saturday. From the Water Shed Task Force to Face-Painting for Kids, from “Stop the Toll Road” to Hazardous Waste information, from Environmental Services to Adopt-A-Beach, the theme was obvious: the Earth, a little planet in the universe we call home, and being our home, it is our duty to take care of it.
In search of what exactly was being done to save the planet, so to speak, I trekked from booth to booth to find out. One of the most intriguing things I saw was the “Stop the Toll Road” booth. It was run by a group of green-conscious kids who had a clever idea of how to get their message across. They asked passerby to take a Polaroid holding a sign with such slogans as “Save San Onofre” or “We Love Trestles.” The snap-shot was stapled to an index card with a personal note and the whole thing was put in a box to be sent to the governor. I was so enthralled with this idea, I had to do an index card myself! See kids, even you can do your part to save the Earth.
Another was the Hazardous Waste booth, run by David and Jeff who instructed me on the disposal of waste considered hazardous to the environment. These include paint, motor oil, most cleaning products, electronics, batteries etc., so think about that when you’re tired of getting up off the couch every time you want to change the channel and finally decide to change the batteries in the remote. Instead of tossing them in the trash, try driving them to the Household Hazardous Waste Center nearest you. That way you’ll feel good that you did your part to save the planet while you channel surfed.
Even San Clemente High School is doing its part. Mrs. Kerr, a SCHS AP Chemistry teacher, was granted a Stephanie Dorey Award for her newly introduced recycling program at the school. So props to Mrs. Kerr and SCHS, you make me proud to be a student.
Although there were many people devoted to bettering the quality of our environment on April 21, there has never been a more devoted soul than our recently departed, dearly loved former mayor, Stephanie Dorey. This is the woman who started it all. Three years ago, she managed the first Earth Day festival in San Clemente, with the hopes that she could spread that oh-so powerful knowledge. She also founded the Water Shed Task Force and Adopt-A-Beach organizations in San Clemente. These things she did with only the pure love for her community. For this, an award was commissioned in her name: the Stephanie Dorey Award. She herself was a receiver of this award but, sadly, she was not here to accept it. Her husband, John Dorey, had the honor. San Clemente could not be what it is today without her, and she will be greatly missed.
It was inspiring to witness the tangible efforts of San Clementeans to clean up our community on Earth Day ’07. There was knowledge to the left, to the right, to the front and to the back, and with all this knowledge, the power was undoubtedly immense. We all have the power to do our part for the environment every day of the year, not just on the 21st of April. With a little effort to recycle or to take care not to leave trash on the beach, we can make the world a better place, starting right here in San Clemente. b