What did you do for Earth Day? Jim Corbett of Peacetown, along with four students from Analy and other volunteers took the day to weed and beautify the Peace Garden next to the Sebastopol Community Center annex.
Hunter Valencia, Sebastopol’s new Local Who Makes a Difference, said Corbett invited him to help with the clean-up and Valencia brought along a few friends from Analy.
“We started by fixing up the circle of bricks around the garden, then once we finished that, we went on to our main project. We saw a way to expand the garden down a path, so the Analy students and I pulled all the weeds out and leveled the dirt. Afterwards, we planted California poppies and hope to see them bloom in a few months,” Valencia said.
Corbett said he and members of the Love Choir, a large informal singing group he organized in Sebastopol, began the peace garden several years ago and have been gradually adding to it over time: first came the peace pole in the middle and six buckeye trees planted in a circle around it. Over the years, Corbett and other volunteers have added benches and pathways and flowering plants.
Though it’s located on city property, the garden is kept up and expanded mostly by volunteers.
“It was great having the boys from Analy here doing manual labor,” Corbett said. “It was really fun to see them get involved, and they did a good job.”
Corbett appreciates how the Peace Garden has developed organically, but said he still has a bigger vision for it.
“It’s not where I want it to be yet. I want it be like a secret garden, a place to come and talk and be reflective, but now that it’s spring and everything is blooming, it’s really feeling good.”
Corbett is particularly fond of the twelve pointed star in the middle of the garden at the base of the peace pole.
“It’s based on James Twyman’s ‘Art of Spiritual Peacemaking,’" Corbett said, “and it’s an ancient symbol the represents the highest part of man, the 12 qualities that exist in every person — to a greater or lesser extent.”
The 12 qualities, written in a rainbow-colored star, are courage, patience, wisdom, certainty, compassion, joy, clarity, understanding, depth, generosity, abundance and agape.
Valencia appreciates this aspect of the garden as well.
“The peace garden is a great symbol of what the city of Sebastopol is about,” he said, noting of the 12 traits that “everyone should strive to further these traits in themselves.”
“I loved going there to clean up,” he said, “and I look forward to doing it next year.”
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