Volunteers from Dr. Shri. Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Pratishthan (DSNDP) remove Douglas fir saplings that officials said could promote the spread of flames during a wildfire. (Courtesy of DSNDP)

Volunteers of the global nonprofit Dr. Shri. Nanasaheb Dharmadhikari Pratishthan completed a conservation drive at Castle Rock State Park, located along Skyline Boulevard, on June 22.

Efforts included removing Douglas fir saplings that officials said could promote the spread of flames during a wildfire.

“This whole event was coordinated with California State Parks,” said coordinator Ajinkya Takawale. “We had a ranger with us.”

The volunteers arrived from places like Sunnyvale, San Jose and the East Bay city of Dublin around 10:30am and worked until 1:30pm.

“We are a spiritual organization not based on any religion,” Takawale explained. “This is just one event, but the impact that we are causing is rippling throughout the U.S.”

The group recently took on two other tree conservation and weeding programs in the Bay Area. More than 30 volunteers collected 930 pounds of garbage, weeds and trash and removed invasive species, including iceplant, a shrub native to South Africa.

Takawale said while the organization has been doing volunteer work overseas for decades, as members immigrate to places like Canada, Australia and Silicon Valley, the number of service projects they’ve taken on around the globe has increased.

Varsha Kavade, a volunteer media representative with the organization, recently had the chance to participate in a “mega cleanliness and tree conservation drive” held on April 27 at 21 locations in New York and New Jersey.

“It’s just an honor to be a part of any event, to be honest,” she said. “To get a chance to work toward a cleaner and greener environment is what everyone wants.”

To learn more about the group’s initiatives, visit dsndp.com.

Members of DSNDP completed an invasive species project in partnership with California State Parks on June 22. (Courtesy of DSNDP)
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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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