Earth Day in Mission Viejo

Guest commentary.

Earth Day in Mission Viejo

For the past several years the City of Mission Viejo in conjunction with Earth Day and other city celebrations has “provided” free mulch for the resident’s gardens and or lawns.  Typically the mulch is placed on the parking lot at the Animal Shelter (some know it as the dog pound).  A set date, and time, is posted on the cities web site, and communicated to the local newspapers.  The city encourages residents to only take a ”fair share”—(a thirty three gallon container) so that many can take advantage of the opportunity.

In the past I have had a need for mulch for my gardens, and sometime my lawn.  This year however, since I have started composting yard clippings, leaves, and those refrigerator “science project” I was not in need of the mulch from the city. 

However, I always found this “free mulch” experience to be entertaining.  Watching those folks scooping up the mulch, filling containers, and then discovering it was far too heavy to load into their two seat sports car.  This year was no disappointment !!

The start time for the free mulch giveaway was Saturday at 9:00AM—so I left home at 8:30AM to make sure I got there for the start of this entertaining event.  I arrived about 8:37AM to find out that the mob had arrived early—indeed half the usual pile of mulch was gone already.  Yes—indeed the “early bird had gotten the worms.”

However there were 12 souls there madly scooping mulch into their buckets, barrels, bags, and in two cases the back of their pickup trucks. No constrain on amounts were being shown by anyone at this point in time.   In the case of the pickup trucks, they were full pick up beds on these trucks—(8’x4’) and both owners had pretty much filled up these trucks.  Another vehicle—a SUV had six 33 gallon plastic containers loaded into it—with more cloth bags being filled by its owner and being  stuffed between the 33 gallon containers.

 When I asked one of the pickup truck owners if he thought he had enough he stated, “Maybe,  why was I asking.”  I said there was a limit of one 33 gallon container set by the city so others could also get some mulch.  He sheepishly replied—“I know—but there ain’t no fertilizer cops here so I will just helped myself.”  When I mentioned that the mulch might blow out on his open  truck bed on the way home—he said, “No problem—I am only going to San Clemente.”   And here I thought this was for the folks who lived in Mission Viejo–what a fool I am !!

 AAAAHHHHH  yes—another entertaining moment at the Mission Viejo  free mulch frenzy.

Joe Holtzman

About Larry Gilbert