Sustainable Development

Back to listApr 14, 2007

Earth Day Celebrations and Park Clean-up in Garden Grove, California, USA

"Earth Day in these critical times is, more than anything, a time for each of us to ... renew faith in our ability to have a positive impact [on our environment]," SGI President Daisaku Ikeda wrote in an essay in 2002. "By transforming our core values, by renewing the human spirit in its very depths, we can put human civilization on the path to a sustainable future."

SGI-USA's Wild Wild West Area volunteers

On April 14, 2007, Garden Grove Park, located in Garden Grove City, southern California, USA, was the venue for this year's Earth Day celebration and park clean-up cosponsored by the city and the SGI-USA Wild Wild West Area. Local SGI-USA members supported the event by bringing and staffing the "Seeds of Change" and "Victory Over Violence" exhibitions and provided several musical and dance performances.

In 1999, SGI-USA joined Garden Grove's Adopt-A-Park program and was assigned to clean up Twin Lakes Park. For more than eight years, dedicated SGI-USA members have cleaned the park every month. Through their efforts, the park has regained its beauty and become a place for residents, especially families, to enjoy. In 2005 and 2006, local SGI-USA members sponsored Earth Day celebrations at the park together with the mayor, city council and other city departments.

This year, due to the success at Twin Lakes Park, the city asked SGI-USA to help clean up Garden Grove Park as well.

As part of the Earth Day celebrations, children planted seeds and participated in face painting and arts and crafts activities. Following the planting of two cherry trees donated by SGI-USA, those attending enjoyed family picnics in the newly spruced and landscaped park.

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda and Mrs. Kaneko Ikeda were awarded honorary citizenships from Garden Grove during the Earth Day celebrations, and on May 3, U.S. Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis presented a certificate to the Ikedas lauding their leadership on environmental issues. Both awards recognized the local SGI-USA members' active participation in community beautification projects.

[Adapted from an article by Renu Debozi in the June 29, 2007 issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA]