Volunteer Mishael Marcelo disposes of waste at Lafayette Park on April 30. (Jensen Giesick / Golden Gate Xpress) (Jensen Giesick)
Volunteer Mishael Marcelo disposes of waste at Lafayette Park on April 30. (Jensen Giesick / Golden Gate Xpress)

Jensen Giesick

Bay Area residents explore science at local parks

May 2, 2022

The “Healing our Land and Community: SF youth take Climate Action” event took place on April 30 in three Bay Area parks.

 Held in Glen Park, Lafayette Park, Gilman playground and Louis Sutter playground, the STEM service day is part of a city-wide youth service day that took place during the 11th annual Bay Area Science Festival.

 San Francisco Department of the Environment’s education team hosted the park events in collaboration with SF Recreation and Parks Department.

“We are out here today just wanting to give back to the community, especially within our public parks, and sort of the beautification of our parks as well as maintaining them for everyone in the community to enjoy,” said Mishael Marcelo, a volunteer for the festival. 

 Outdoor activities were used to explore the role of science, engineering and technology in our everyday environment.

“It’s nice for my son to come out and play with his friends but still learn something about the environment – the organization has so much to offer,” said Robert Green, a Bay Area resident. 

 The activities held at the event were projects that promote local climate action goals while also promoting a healthy emotional well-being of young people.

“Our main job is to get youth to understand how to organize their weights – so that’s why we have our little mini bins out here today,” said Rachael Jadot, an environmental education associate. 

 The youth enjoyed STEM-focused projects such as habitat restoration and park beautification.

“If you love nature, if you care about something in your backyard or just a park, you’re a citizen scientist,” said Esther Tang, an environmental scientist. 

There were hands-on nature family activities including a scavenger hunt to find indigenous plants and animals while learning the importance of those things to the environment.

 The Bay Area Science Festival provides events around the Bay Area, including Oracle Park and Cal State East Bay, where Discovery Days mark the beginning and the end of the festival respectively.

“So we go to all the schools in SF [Unified School District], we go to private schools, as well as public schools – we target all of the schools,” said Jenifer Lomeli, an environmental education aide. 

Saturday marked the last day of the weeklong event that was designed to raise awareness of science in everyday life and to inspire youth to seek careers in STEM industries.

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