Passing it on

By helping stage Earth Day event, Santa Rosa Mother’s Club member embodies group’s goal of teaching children about good stewardship

By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

When many Santa Rosans gather to celebrate Earth Day, the sustainability-focused events and activities they’ll enjoy will be possible largely because of the efforts of people like Teja Gilmour.

She’s part of an army of green volunteers who have stepped forward to help make sure the 4th annual event in Old Courthouse Square again will be a success.

 MODEL FOR KIDS: Teja Gilmour of Santa Rosa, with her kids Dashall Faria, 5, left, and Rowan Faria, 8, center. At Santa Rosa's Earth Day festival April 27 in Old Courthouse Square, Gilmour and other members of the Santa Rosa Mother's Club will help staff eco-activity stations for children. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / The Press Democrat)


MODEL FOR KIDS: Teja Gilmour of Santa Rosa, with her kids Dashall Faria, 5, left, and Rowan Faria, 8, center. At Santa Rosa’s Earth Day festival April 27 in Old Courthouse Square, Gilmour and other members of the Santa Rosa Mother’s Club will help staff eco-activity stations for children. (CRISTA JEREMIASON / The Press Democrat)

The event will be held April 27, although Earth Day officially is April 22.

Gilmour, a member of the Santa Rosa Mother’s Club, and about 10 fellow club members have agreed to staff the festival’s various eco-art activities for children.

It’s something the 47-year-old mother of two helped with last year when she and others showed children how to make natural play dough and pine-cone bird feeders.

“My daughter loved coming and doing it with me last year,” said Gilmour, whose daughter, Rowan, is 8 and son, Dashall, is 5. “We want to show our kids how fun it is to not only volunteer in general, but also to help other kids make these neat creations.”

Expanding the club’s role in the Earth Day activities makes sense because the club has tried to increase the awareness of its members and their children about caring for the environment. They’ve stopped using disposable plastic cutlery at their picnics and board meetings, for example. They also participate in outings such as cleaning up trash in local creeks, she said.

“It just fit in with our kind of new mantra that we had as a club,” Gilmour said.

As part of the Santa Rosa Mother’s Club community outreach committee, Gilmour works to make sure the club is more than just moms meeting up for play dates in the park. She has helped organize food and book drives, donations to groups such as homeless services provider The Living Room, and even a roll-a-thon to raise money for Kids Street Learning Center.

“It’s not just a social club,” Gilmour said. “We’re trying to find ways to make our neighborhoods and our community better, and model that to our kids and instill in them that it’s important to give back.”

Santa Rosa is looking for additional volunteers to help out with Earth Day activities. At least 10 people are needed to help set up and take down the festival, which takes place from noon to 4 p.m. in Old Courthouse Square. All volunteers receive a free T-shirt. To sign up, contact Elise Howard at ehoward@srcity.org.

For those interested in helping clean up Juilliard Park and the Prince Memorial Greenway between 8 and 11 a.m., contact Tyler Rockey at trockey@srcity.org.

Volunteers also can register at www.surveymonkey.com/s/SREarthDay, or at the city’s website, www.srcity.org/earthday.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @citybeater.