Interviewed by Roxana Lucero, Land Stewardship Associate
How long have you lived in the Bay Area?
Well, I moved to San Francisco in 1964, but I moved to Walnut Creek in 1971.
How did you learn about Save Mount Diablo?
I was always busy with work and raising my children, including supporting my daughter with synchronized swimming; but somehow in the 70s I was aware of the organization. I’m not really sure how I became aware, maybe it was in the newspaper, but I was always aware of Save Mount Diablo.
What did you do before you volunteered for us?
I worked in nuclear medicine, at three or four places in my career. Initially I was a lab technician, and then I started working for John Muir in their nuclear medicine department. Eventually, I went to Kaiser and worked there. It was interesting and exciting working through all the innovations through the times – ultrasound, computers, PET scans, and such.
How long have you been volunteering with us?
I started with volunteering with DiRT at Marsh Creek 4 in 2012.
Why did you decide to join our team?
When I first came here, I saw how the area began changing after BART opened up and housing really started to increase. I had always thought that all of Mount Diablo was open space, but in reality, it wasn’t. I love the outdoors and I wanted to save Mount Diablo, so I began to help! I love the mountain and open space; we benefit directly from it. By volunteering, you stay engaged in life.
About Paula’s Work
Which program(s) are you affiliated with (DiRT, IPM, Trail Dogs, etc.)?
Summer watering crew for restoration sites at Ang and Marsh Creek 7, DiRT, Moonlight on the Mountain, Bioblitz, Mount Diablo Bike Challenge, and other events.
What does your volunteer work consist of and what do you like about it?
I’m part of a team that protects the mountain. It’s social in a way, and I get to meet people who have the same goal as I do. It helps the future generation. It helps keep the place green, which is good for everyone, and I like to help! When we go to the top, it’s so beautiful up there.
What is the hardest project you’ve worked on while volunteering?
One time we had to dig holes to plant the trees. But otherwise, nothing seems too hard. Another time we were bringing water to plants and there were squirrel holes everywhere. You had to watch your step, especially with the slippery dry grass and the steep banks. But there was nothing too hard.
What is one of your favorite memories volunteering with us?
I loved seeing the progress between what Marsh Creek 4 looked like in the beginning to now (before the fires). I like seeing people engaged, like at the lunches for the donors, and seeing people interested and inspired by the nature.
With the organization, I’m impressed to see it grow from three people to what it is now. There is so much work that goes into protecting the mountain and area. I liked working on the Dublin initiative with Juan Pablo. I think most people want to help, and it’s nice to see that.
I’m just really impressed by the group of people willing to help.