Residents Clean up Commons


Rachel Jin, Staff Writer

Local residents gathered in the Moraga Commons on April 15 to participate in the annual “Moraga Beautiful” project, an effort to clean up and maintain Moraga’s architecture, parks, and recreational features.

Moraga Beautiful is a relatively new tradition. “This is going to be our 7th year,” said Moraga Commons’s lead maintenance worker Ruben Ochoa.

Residents participated in a variety of projects at the event. “We have them paint all picnic tables and benches, pick up trash throughout the park, and do any weeding if weeding needs to be done,” Ochoa explained.

“It was pretty fun. I like doing events like that. I like to paint, so it was exciting,” said junior Nikhil Suri, who participated on behalf of the Moraga Youth Involvement Committee (MYIC).

According to Ochoa, participants usually include “Moraga residents, some [Scout] troops, and Campolindo high school students, if anyone needs to do any more volunteer hours.”

The participants ranged in ages. “There were a lot of younger volunteers. There were some older guys who had done it for a long time,” said Suri.

According to Suri, Moraga Beautiful has also been held in other locations. “Last year it was at Rancho Laguna park, and we pretty much did the same thing. We ran around and put stain on benches. We also painted the bathrooms,” said Suri.

For MYIC member Calvin Gee, this was a new experience. “I have not gone before; this is my first time,” he said. “I think it was pretty cool to see how everyone in Moraga came out to help make Moraga beautiful.”

In retrospect, both Suri and Gee would have done some things differently. “I hope we didn’t get the concrete too dirty with paint. Maybe we should have brought more wet paint signs, so people didn’t sit down,” said Suri.

Gee agreed: “I think one lady sat down a bench that was wet.”

However, Suri said, “It was nice to see the impact we made immediately. We would paint the benches in the sun, and we would come back later and they would look so much nicer.”

“We hold these events to make Moraga beautiful,” said Ochoa. “Because the name Moraga is beautiful, and thats what it should stand for.”