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Cleanup underway at Dunbar Point

Cleanup underway at Dunbar Point

Raul Andrade operates a tractor on the first day of cleaning up Dunbar Point. Photo by Maud Hallin


By Maud Hallin

A surprisingly misty and cool summer dawn found Glen Ellen’s John LemMon on his tractor and Raul Andrade wielding his Weedwacker, both tackling cleanup of the vacant lot at the intersection of Dunbar Road, Arnold Drive, and Sonoma Highway.

To help fuel the work on the 1.2-acre parcel, which has been nicknamed Dunbar Point, this reporter had to first go to Les Pascals for provisions — coffee and pastries. This was a good thing given the challenges that lay ahead for the two volunteers; they would need sustenance.

The parcel is in a very natural state. Dry grass covers stumps and branches of all sizes. Yes, there are rocks, but also dumped concrete and a few empty bottles. Acacias that had been cut back are growing again, despite the lack of water. The terrain is very uneven, so walking requires extreme care.

Care also had to be taken with the equipment, which on various occasions needed maintenance. As the owner of a good selection of tools, I was happy to assist in driving back and forth with supplies. We were also cautious of fire danger: LemMon stacked an impressive quantity of fire extinguishers along the edge of Dunbar Road, and I had both water and a fire extinguisher in my trunk. We were prepared.

The work was slow and tough.

I moved rocks and marked tree stumps with red paint until the spray can declared, “No more!” I’d estimate that I tagged 40 to 50 stumps in one day.

By 11 a.m. it was too warm and too dangerous to cut the dry grass, and the tractor was cranky. The ground was not welcoming, but Dunbar Point was on its way. The Glen Ellen Forum’s Projects Committee has adopted the parcel, which is owned by Sonoma Land Trust (a fosterling of Glen Oaks Ranch), and plans to make it a well-groomed and firesafe entryway to the village’s “downtown.”

John LemMon: Thank you for your fantastic work. You and your tractor made a major difference! Thanks, too, to the hard-working Raul Andrade, who now wants a stronger Weedwacker.

Work remains to be done. In addition to removing the stumps, many trees and branches need to be removed. A request has been filed with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for removal of dead and dangerous trees and branches littering the extensive ditch that runs alongside the property, which has the potential to become a new turn lane onto Arnold Drive from Sonoma Highway. It would be helpful if other community members also filed such a request.

What a difference a Saturday morning’s work can make, with some super people to help. John LemMon and Raul Andrade—you are fantastic!

-Maud Hallin is a resident of the Trinity Oaks neighborhood in Glen Ellen and, with Debbie Lammers and the Glen Ellen Forum, is leading a project to clean up the triangle of land at Sonoma Highway, Arnold Drive, and Dunbar Road.