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Thank You New Jersey For Showing Me Humanity At it’s Finest : Storm Sandy Recovery Photos

Jersey Shore Shore Sandy Today I jump on an airplane and head back to Los Angeles after 2+ months in New Jersey. As I do so, I reflect on my long stay and feel an overwhelming sense of thankfulness. I’ll keep this as simple and as straight forward as I can. Thank You New Jersey!.  Thank You for allowing me to be part of your on going recovery after storm Sandy.  Thank you for showing me what true strength is in a time of crisis, and helping me renew my faith in humanity.  Thank you for reminding me of the power of service and how many little people doing many little things can make many big changes. Thank you for showing me that there are extraordinary people who really care and reminding me of why  I love this state and the people. I came here to help my parents with their home and enjoy the holidays with family but ended up with an experience of a lifetime. I’ve made amazing new friends and encountered hundreds of determined citizens. I may have broken a few walls and moved some sticks and bricks, but that’s small compared to what I received from you. Thank You. I created a slide show of some of my favorite pictures of my volunteer efforts. The Photos were taken by my new volunteer friends, and devastation pictures I took myself. The song underneath these photos is by Michael Franti called “Gloria”,which also happens to be the name of my Grandmother, Gloria, whom I lost just a few weeks ago while here on my visit.  It’s fitting being she was a becon of hope and taught me the power of compassion and charity. I know she’d be proud.

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Recycled Christmas Trees Being Used to Rebuild Jersey Shore Sand Dunes?

Christmas Tree Recycle

Residents of New Jersey are coming in droves to recycle their Christmas trees at the Jersey shore this year.  Although recycling Christmas trees is a normal practice, recycling your festive pine at the Jersey shore allows your tree to keep on giving well after the Holidays. That’s because your old recycled Christmas trees are being used to rebuild the many sand dunes that were destroyed by Storm Sandy in October. I know! It sounded odd to me too, but apparently old Christmas trees are lined up along sand dunes to help them rebuild naturally. Christmas trees can be placed on their side end to end on the ground and naturally collect windblown sand over time. This creates a natural “fence” that traps sand, eventually burying the trees creating a small dune. Within a few months, the objects begin to take on the shape of a large sand dune that help protect the beach against heavy wave action from storms.  Dune grass can then be planted on top in about a year. It’s a method that has been practiced in the Southeastern states that are accustomed to having hurricanes and more in tune to the annual rebuilding of sand dunes each winter. Because so many Jersey shore cities are now strapped for cash, this “naturally” great idea will take place in many places along the Jersey Shore. For a more scientific and detail oriented explanation check out this article by Phillyblurbs.com

I bet you’d like to know how I stumbled upon this amazing concept.  So please give me your attention for a moment and I’ll explain. Continue reading