Earth Day was celebrated globally on April 22 and it was no different for volunteers at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center. Marsha Judd, who is also a professor at California State University, Fullerton, organized this event to bring together the community for a workday. Volunteers were spread out across the 8.5 acre property and helped with plant weeding, garden dressing, and plant installation.
“2020 was a tough year for us in another way, Farrell Hirsch, CEO of the Muckenthaler, said. “The City doesn’t pay us any money. Even though this is City land, we have to take care of it so in 2020 with no income coming in, we had to make some choices about our landscapers. This is the year we build it back up. 2021 is about building it back up and fixing it.”
The center has been working on plans for the property that will unfold in the coming years. One plan is what they call their Sunset Garden on the outer lawn of the property and another is a garden guild to get the community consistently involved.
“It’s a learning curve right now for the grounds,” President of the Muckenthaler Board, Chris Barnhill, said. “Getting people on board, getting people’s skill-sets up, learning how to take care of turf, learning what it takes to put in a new garden, and it’s a lot of fun. We’re having a really great time doing it.”
For many of the volunteers, this was their first outing in over a year due to the pandemic.
“Everybody is saying the same thing. ‘I’m so excited to be out.’ ‘I’m so excited to be outside.’ ‘I’m so happy to be talking to people,’” Judd said. “We’re doing it specifically for Earth Day because you know, obviously it’s really special to celebrate the outdoors but also community love.”
There has been enthusiasm from young people in the community to get involved. Judd was able to recruit some of her students from CSUF to come out and volunteer and there has been interest from high school horticultural programs who also want to take part.
“We are part of the community,” Hirsch said. “Everything we do, we do for the community and this is a chance for the community to actually get involved and quite literally get their hands dirty.”
Categories: Local News
I love the volunteer action and I value the Muckenthaler. But unless something has changed recently – The Muckenthaler receives free rent from the city for the use of the mansion and grounds. That is a gift of something around $100,000 a year. So may be an inaccurate statement by Hirsch that the city does not pay the Muckenthaler anything.