Press Release: RIO LINDO SCHOOL TO HOST A COMPOST TEA PARTY AND BECOME THE FIRST PESTICIDE-FREE PLAYGROUND ON THE OXNARD PLAIN

Click here to purchase tickets for the Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser to support this project on the evening of Wednesday, July 10. Can’t attend, consider making a donation.

Thirty youth from around the nation, community volunteers, local organizations will come together to build soil, save water, sequester carbon and eat plant-based tamales

EL RIO, Calif.- July 2, 2019 – On July 6, 2019 from 10-1 the playground at Rio Lindo Elementary School, with the help of community volunteers, local organizations, and thirty youth from around the nation participating in the The Encampment for Citizenship (EFC) will transform one school playground into a 100% ORGANIC landscaped, field, gardens, school forest, THE FIRST IN THE OXNARD PLAIN. “I would like Rio Lindo to lead the way towards becoming a 100% pesticide-free school and district. I hope in making this a school community initiative, we can learn about how the health of our soil affects our food, water, and air,” said Veronica Raushenburger, Principal of Rio Lindo Elementary School located in the rural unincorporated Ventura County community. 

School grounds, parks, and medians, including Rio Lindo Elementary, are treated with petroleum-based fertilizers to keep the grass green and Round-Up Ready (Glyphosate) to kill weeds. Round-Up Ready was concluded to “probably cause cancer in humans” in the 2015 International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO). Several area districts have banned Round-Up Ready, most recently Oxnard Elementary School District and the Oxnard Union High School District. 

“The goal of the compost tea party is to provide a template for other school and municipalities to follow in a post Glyophysate world. This is an opportunity to turn playgrounds, parks and landscapes bordering public owned property into water catchment systems since healthy soil untreated with chemicals or petroleum-based fertilizers can hold water up to a 1000 times more than treated soil. That’s great news for our water table levels and health of our rivers polluted with nitrate runoff,” said Florencia Ramirez local award-winning author of Eat Less Water and organizer of the event on behalf of EFC. Earlier this month, the state issued a “no drinking” order for 364 homes and businesses in El Rio due to unsafe nitrate levels.

Volunteers will learn how to make compost brew for their home garden from soil expert Dr. David White, Executive Director of the Center for Regenerative Agriculture. “Who thought it was a good idea to spray poison at our schools?” said Dr. White. “Improving soil health and doing something good for the planet by putting carbon back into the soil is good for everyone.”  World-renowned experts Ron Whitehurst and Jan Dietrick owners of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries will discuss the use of beneficial bugs as an alternative to pesticides and will have a microscope available to observe the difference between healthy and chemically treated soil. Adam Vega, a local organizer with Pesticide Reform, and catalyst to many local school-wide bans of Glypohsate will discuss the larger movement to ban harmful pesticides in California.

All volunteers will be treated to an Eat Less Water organic farm to playground tamale lunch made from scratch by EFC students during a book reading/cooking workshop on July 3. 

Rio Lindo School is located at 2131 Snow Ave, Oxnard, CA 93036.

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