Exchanging Bags for Benches to Beautify Our Planet

Our club, with the help of our community and many other Lions Clubs, has kept over 2500 pounds of soft plastics out of the landfills since September 1, 2020. In the midst of the pandemic, the Stockton-San Joaquin Lions Club was searching for meaningful projects to better our community. We are a small and diverse club, with several older members and members with a variety of disabilities. Lion Jennifer Gass learned about a plastic recycling program through the Trex company on a global service webinar. She brought the project to District 4-A1’s Governor, who told her to roll with it. Lion Jennifer started the project in Stockton, California and it has since spread to multiple cities in our district and throughout the state. The Stockton-San Joaquin Lions Club partnered with 9 other clubs and 16 community groups and businesses To collect the required 500 lbs of soft plastics in a 6-month period to earn each bench.

Our first bench was placed at a local public children’s amusement park, Pixie Woods. Our second bench was placed at a newly revitalize downtown cultural area, Chung Wah Ln. The City of Stockton covered installation of the first bench and Downtown Stockton Alliance installed our second bench, cutting down on project expenses. We got coverage on CW 31’s “Good Day Sacramento” and local CBS 13 news. We received recognition from the City of Stockton, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, Downtown Stockton Alliance and our State Assemblyman during our bench dedication ceremony’s where we recognized all of our community partners with thanks and certificates. It has been a wonderful way to draw the community together for a positive result, a win-win for our community and the environment. This is a project people of any background, any physical ability can participate in to provide meaningful service. We are minimizing our footprint on the planet as we leave a beautiful token of our Lions’ legacy behind for everyone to enjoy, A beautiful park bench.