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City on a Hill: Rock Your City Volunteers Shine the Light
By Catherine Harris

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” ~Matthew 5:14-15

Colina del Sol can be loosely translated as ‘hill of the Sun’. Saturday, June 23rd, dawned unlike any other at Colina del Sol Park and Recreation Center. As the sun began to make its appearance, another light was shining. More than 430 Rock Church and Community volunteers descended upon Colina del Sol, and between the hours of 5 a.m. and 1 p.m., they diligently removed over 80 yards of weeds, trash, and plant trimmings and then set to work planting over 300 plants and 14 box trees, each weighing on average 450 pounds, and topped it off by spreading 300 yards of fresh mulch. That’s enough mulch to fill two football fields, including the end zones, with mulch 1 inch deep! Rock Your City volunteers also removed the equivalent of six 45-gallon bags of peeling paint from the recreation center building and painted at least two coats of fresh paint at the gym and in the corridors of the main building, the exterior of the recreation center, several additional buildings, and the ball field bleachers and backstops, totaling a whopping 225 gallons of paint supplied by Frazee Paint of San Diego.

“The partnership has been great,” exuded Debbie Smith, director of Rock Your City Events. Indeed, without the collaboration, donations, time, and work of each company and individual from the greatest to the smallest, it could not have been accomplished. These included the following companies: Hawthorne Rent It Services, Frazee Paint, Dave’s Painting, Workplace Services/Kuske Interiors, AAA Power Sweepers, LeMaster Project Management & Consulting, Creative Production Solutions, Dwayne Snider Stucco & Plastering, and Ace Bobcat. One of the youngest individual volunteers, Alianna, five, lives in the area and has been attending swimming lessons at the Colina del Sol community pool for the past three years. She “made piles and picked them up,” along with her sister Abigail, 6 ½. Mother Vero and aunt Eva cut, trimmed, and pulled weeds. This is their park.

Impact to the neighboring community will by and large be untold, as numbers and figures cannot account for the shift in atmosphere, nor describe the ripple effect the change in appearance of their local park will make on the attitudes and minds of those that frequent it. “It looks so alive,” exclaimed Kacie, a local resident who stopped by the park for an outing with four little boys. The boys are refugees from Tanzania and live nearby. This is their park. “This is a great help, as not only will the beautification project decrease maintenance, but it will make people feel better about where they live,” stated Keith Selby, San Diego Parks & Recreation area manager, who has been assigned to Colina del Sol for the past twelve years. When asked what else volunteers could do, Keith stated, “Just having your presence, because you are bringing some light through your positive perspective.”