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Sansom beautifies Fallbrook


Last updated 5/1/2008 at Noon

Fallbrook resident Howard Sansom with some sunflower plants he is nurturing. Sansom volunteers a considerable amount of time to the Save Our Forest organization.

Howard Sansom, a 12-year resident of Fallbrook, has made it his mission to help beautify his town and he has been successful.

Sansom took a proactive step toward his goal by becoming a volunteer for Save Our Forest (SOF). He helps oversee and care for indigenous trees and plants at a noncommercial nursery, otherwise known as the ‘patch’ in Fallbrook.

Before having the ‘patch,’ explained Sansom, he did some growing at home. “I ended up having 100 pots of little oak trees and no where to put them,” said Sansom. “Mike Peters was very nice to offer me a spot

on his property.”

SOF has had the ‘patch,’ a one-acre area of ground, for the past 10 years. “What started as one row of 100 oak trees now houses somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 native plants and trees,” explained Sansom.

Sansom volunteers at the ‘patch’ about three hours a day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. In the springtime, the ideal time for planting, the workload increases a bit.

“Jody Williams and Gary Beeler help me out on Mondays and Fridays and whenever I need them,” he said.

When Sansom is working at the ‘patch,’ he genuinely enjoys his time there. “I just love it,” he said. “It gets me out of the house, gives me something to do and helps the community.”

Driving through town, seeing the plants he has grown, gives him a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and pride, he said.

SOF, a nonprofit organization, provides trees and plants for the Fallbrook area. It has planted approximately 625 trees in downtown Fallbrook and more than 6,000 trees and native plants throughout the entire area.

Donations and volunteers are always needed at Save Our Forest, said Sansom. Younger volunteers are especially welcome.

“The day is going to come when those of us carrying the load are not going to be able to do it; we need new volunteers to come in behind us to fill in those spots,” he explained.

So what makes Save Our Forest so unique? “It’s Jackie Heyneman,” said Sansom. “She is what makes unique, because she is the driving force behind it.”

While caring for the ‘patch,’ Sansom also championed the Adopt a Highway Program in Fallbrook several years ago. Once a month, these volunteers clean about a 4.5-mile radius in Fallbrook. “We collect anywhere from a dozen to five dozen bags of trash per month,” he noted.

Sadly, vandalism has been something the group has had to deal with and hopes the community can help put a stop to it. People are trampling on plants and knocking down new trees, Sansom said. “It’s disheartening sometimes to have people destroy what you’ve just done,” he said. “If people see someone defacing property in Fallbrook, please call the Sheriff’s Department.”

Editor’s Note: If you would like to help beautify Fallbrook by volunteering your time, donating indigenous trees or plants or helping with the Adopt a Highway effort, call Howard Sansom at (760) 728-0889 or (760) 213-5914.


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