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Sign of the times

Danielle Castonzo | Jul 09, 2018

A Kiwanis-family work crew gets ready to replace signs on the Thompson Creek Trail.

The Thompson Creek Trail is a favorite among walkers and joggers who live in Claremont, California. The trail’s 2.3 miles wind through wild flowers, trees and fragrant bushes.

Some years ago, the Claremont Kiwanis Club and local Key Club members installed signs to identify the types of trees and plants lining the trail. However, the original signs became faded and obscured by plant growth, says Claremont Kiwanis member Steve Llanusa. 

In April, Claremont Kiwanis and Key Club members replaced the faded signs with more than 50 new ones that identify 40-plus plants in more than 25 varieties. Volunteers worked together to mount the replacement signs – inspired by ones at the nearby Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens – on three-foot-tall posts. Claremont’s arborist helped ensure the flowering plants, bushes and trees were identified correctly.

Llanusa publicized and coordinated the event with Claremont High School, San Antonio High School, CKI and his fellow Kiwanis members. 

“Thompson Creek Trail is a moderately-trafficked hike,” he says. “Walkers and hikers on the trail constantly thanked us as we replaced the signs.” 

The taller signs are less likely to be obscured by plants or mud to better educate the community on the plants that line the trail. People enjoy learning the scientific and common names of the plants, Llanusa says, and use this information to plan their homes’ yards and gardens. 

“Replacing all of these signs with the newer version was a great accomplishment,” he says. “This new project continues (our) commitment to local community service.” 

Claremont High School student and Key Club member Miles Mezaki participated because he loves giving back to his community. 

“The best part of the project was seeing the finished product,” he says. “The end result appeared very professional and aesthetically appealing. It also pleases me to know that passersby will be influenced by a contribution that I made.” 

Adds Llanusa, “Kiwanis, Key Club and Circle K have had a long history of service to the urban forest of Claremont. Our groups’ last service to the community shows how we are living up to our mission of improving the world by making a lasting difference.”

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