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Volunteers bettering their neighborhood in various ways across Bakersfield

Posted at 4:18 PM, Apr 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-13 19:52:29-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — On Saturday, various groups of community volunteers took their Saturday morning and made an effort to make their community a better place.

  • At Lowell Park, the 'Love Your Park Program' kicked off which is a collaboration between CalTrans, Clean California, Blue Zones Project, and various city and county boards to revitalize parks across Kern County. Volunteers were beautifying the park by planting trees and shrubs, picking up trash, and having a little fun in between.
  • At the CAPK Food Bank, volunteers with CSUB were honoring Wendy Wayne, a pillar of the Bakersfield community, by helping the non-profit pack boxes for its 'senior meals program.' The boxes are filled with various staples and will be distributed throughout the county at various pick-up events.
  • At locations across Bakersfield, volunteers were participating in Red Bucket Day, a campaign that brings awareness to human trafficking and takes in donations to help victims of the crime lead healthy lives.


I’m Sam Hoyle, your neighborhood reporter in Bakersfield, there were several events that took place here over the weekend and there’s a common theme that connected a handful of them, and that’s people wanting to help. Let’s start here at Lowell Park.

Saturday at Lowell Park was the kickoff of the Love Your Park campaign. The campaign is a collaboration between CalTrans, Clean California, Blue Zones Project, and various city and county boards to revitalize parks across Kern County.

“Parks are a perfect way to get to move naturally, to connect. So we’re working with the city of Bakersfield, north of the river and Kern County to see how can we revitalize some of these parks,” said Karina Funez, Public Policy Advocate for the Blue Zone Project.

Volunteers were able to help with planting trees, picking up trash, and even having a little bit of fun.

“I think that today is a testament to the power that communities can have when they come together and through the power of partnerships,” said Gabriela Polo, Regional Director for Keeping America Beautiful.

Let’s head a little bit southeast of Lowell Park to the CAPK Food Bank.. where dozens of volunteers were honoring Wendy Wayne, a pillar in the community who worked to better the lives of many, by packing boxes to go to the senior food box program. The boxes are filled with staples like vegetables, rice, and peanut butter to name a few.

“We’re all out following in the legacy of Wendy Wayne who was an amazing leader in the Bakersfield community,” said Nate Olson, Kegley Institute of Ethics Interim Director. “Not only are we serving the community, but it’s a chance for us to recognize people who are doing wonderful work for others in the community which doesn't always get the attention it should get.”

And last but not least, it was another red bucket day in Bakersfield to bring awareness to human trafficking to put a stop to it. Jana Slagle, a volunteer spreading awareness and collecting donations outside of Luigi’s restaurant and deli near downtown, said the donations that are being collected will go to help survivors of human trafficking.

"The money that we’re raising today will go to [Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking] to help victims deal with the trauma and become whole again, so that’s why we're raising the money,” said Slagle.

Between a Gala held by the coalition and Red Bucket Day donations, tens of thousands of dollars have been raised to benefit human trafficking victims in Kern County.

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