Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 25th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Touching Toes

blog_dirt_ToeTouchMount Madonna students spread environmental awareness and hope on Worldwide Waste Reduction Day
The bringer of change is hope, and that is just what the students and teachers of Mount Madonna School have ample amounts of: hope for a future where people live sustainably with the natural world. To demonstrate this hope, the school’s Pre-K, fifth and ninth grade students and teachers gathered at Cowell Beach on Tuesday, Feb. 1 to celebrate Worldwide Waste Reduction day by picking up trash and participating in a Pacific Ocean “toe touch” simultaneously with Laie Elementary and Kaunakakai Elementary students in Hawaii.

The effort was meant to bring awareness to the human threat posed at ocean ecology, and to one keystone species in particular—the sea otter.

The students lined up in front of the ocean for the toe touch and at 11:30 precisely they ran in ankle deep, laughing and jumping, into the water. The gesture left many of the students with a sense of accomplishment and interconnectedness with the environment and one another. While standing with her feet still in the ocean, ninth grader Brianna Heldt said, “It was really nice to feel the connection [with the students in Hawaii] even though they’re so far away. It was a really great way of bringing awareness to how we’re all connected and how if we all work together we can actually clean up the ocean.”

While, as fifth grader William Murphy put it, they “want to tell the whole world” about the dangers confronting sea otters and their fellow marine animals, the students also had resolutions they wanted to apply to their everyday life. For instance, several students spoke about how they wanted to continue with waste reduction efforts with acts as simple as picking up trash when they happen to be at the beach, swearing off plastic bags and opting for reusable water bottles.

The Worldwide Waste Reduction Day and toe touch event was brought together by the students with the cooperation of UC Santa Cruz professor Terrie Williams, Save Our Shores, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration and Friends of the Sea Otters. The event was part of a larger student project that James Sri Gyan McCaughan, Jessica Cambell and Lisa Catterall (Mount Madonna’s fifth and ninth grade teachers) brought their students together for in order create awareness of how they are embedded in the ecosystem as well as to empower them with the conviction that they are capable of changing the world.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Simplicity Preparing for Thanksgiving

When we study and apply astrology in our daily lives, we are anchoring new Aquarian thinking. Study, application and use of astrology, understanding its language, builds the new world, the new culture and civilization. Astrologers are able to plan right timing and right action. Next week is Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. 26). It’s good to understand the energies influencing us in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. When we know these things we are able to make Right Choices, have Right Action. We link heaven and Earth, our minds with the starry energies that influence us. Let us consider the following influences. The North Node (point in space where sun and moon meet, representing humanity’s present/future pathway) has just entered Virgo. Virgo is about food, purity, cleanliness, service, detail, order and organization. What can we learn from this? Because these energies are available to us we, too, can have intentions and a rhythm of order and organization, purity and cleanliness. Sunday, the sun enters Sag, joining Mercury (we have high ideals, many goals). Tuesday, Mercury/Saturn (structured disciplined thinking) squares Neptune (thoughts, ideas, goals dissolve away). Wednesday is 3 degree Sagittarius solar festival (full moon). Sag’s keynote is, “We see a goal, we achieve that goal, and then we see another.” We might have many plans and goals for Thanksgiving. However, on Thanksgiving those goals may be dashed. Saturn (structure) squares Neptune. All structures and plans dissolve and fall away. What is our response to this? We simplify all that we do. We plan on everything changing. We don’t fret. We adapt instead. Adaptation is the behavior of the Disciple. Sagittarius is the sign of the Disciple. 


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of November 20

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


If you could be someone else for one month, who would it be?

President Obama, so I could change a lot of laws that pertain to people in jail for drug possession and other minor crimes. Raouf Ben Farhat, Petaluma, Self-Employed



Blanc De Blanc Sparkling Wine is best shared with the one you love


Rainy Refuge

Kelly’s offers killer sliders and pumpkin pie, plus dining pet peeves and wine of the week


If you won the lottery, what would be the first three things you did?

Build a restaurant, buy a house for my mom and donate a quarter of the money to the Boys and Girls Club. Jevon Martin, Santa Cruz, Chef