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ESF volunteers plant 250 trees in San Diego’s Ruffin Canyon

(SAN DIEGO) There are 250 newly planted trees in San Diego’s Ruffin Canyon thanks to volunteers with the Empowering Spirit Foundation (ESF), a national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, who spent Saturday working alongside volunteers from the City of San Diego Park & Recreation Department.

The joint effort between ESF and the city’s Park & Recreation Department was designed to allow LGBT individuals to work side-by-side with non-LGBT members in an effort to open up communication between both sides. The event was also attended by members of Gethsemane Lutheran Church.

“It was a great day, many more volunteers showed up than we anticipated,” said A. Latham Staples, ESF President & C.E.O. “This was a great opportunity to restore the habitat with native materials, and in doing so we engaged in dialogue in a non-divisive manner, with our non-LGBT neighbors in an effort to promote understanding of the issues that affect the LGBT community.”

A total of 103 volunteers helped to plant the trees that were provided by the San Diego Park & Recreation Department.