Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in March

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ways-to-be-a-good-neighbor-tree-plantings-good-neighbor-stories-pam-marinoRain, finally! The dust and dirt that was building up on all the shrubs, trees and outdoor surfaces is washed away, giving the feeling of a fresh start. Spring is just a couple of weeks away, so put winter behind you and start something new that will make your neighborhood and community a better place.

Here are five ways you can make a difference this month.

1. Spring Spruce Ups: Parks, open spaces and eco-friendly organizations are organizing outdoor clean-ups and plantings all month. The Golden Gate Audubon Society has several habitat restoration events on both sides of the bay, and Save the Bay has similar types of restoration and planting events open to volunteers. The San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club is hosting a tree planting event in Oakland on March 8. Or check out the numerous events offered by Our City Forest in San  Jose.

2. Educate Yourself About Income Inequality: Silicon Valley De-Bug is hosting the Forum on Inequality in Silicon Valley from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 6, at the Camera 12 Theaters, 201 S. 2nd Street, San Jose. The award-winning website’s staff is bringing together community leaders to speak about the problem of income inequality, along with a local hip hop artist who is premiering a video, “Gold Out West,” for this free community event.

Fred Rogers3. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?: March 20 is the annual “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Day, celebrated in honor of the birthday of the late Mister Rogers. Wear a cardigan sweater to remember Mr. Rogers, and do something kind for your neighbors or the greater community.

4. Hug it Out: March 20 is also the International Day of Happiness, declared for the first time last year by the United Nations (also known as World Happiness Day). To celebrate, Action for Happiness – Bay Area is sponsoring HugFest 2014, two hours of free hugs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Market Street Plaza in downtown San Francisco.

5. Celebrate Cesar Chavez: The Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Action is observed around the late labor leader’s March 31 birthday, and this year is the premier of the Hollywood movie, “Cesar Chavez,” on Friday, March 28. The movie stars Michael Peña, America Ferrara, Rosario Dawson, and John Malkovich. For more information about Chavez, his impact on society, and why some are calling for a national holiday to honor him, see the takepart.com website.