Parting message from C4AGES Founder, Sharon Korotkin

Many thanks to our founder and fearless leader, Sharon Korotkin. After 8 years of coordinating C4AGES, she has decided to step down and focus on her business and personal endeavors. Kim Hazard is the new C4AGES Coordinator, effective June 1, 2019. Below is a message from Sharon that she wanted to share…

Parting message 25 May, 2019 from Sharon Korotkin, stepping down as coordinator for Citizens for a Greener El Sobrante (C4AGES)

Shortly after moving to El Sobrante in 2011, I founded C4AGES, an organization with an ambitiously broad scope. After eight years advocating for ES I can say, I never expected, but am proud of what unfolded. It has been a remarkable rewarding journey full of surprises. The highlight for me was meeting a small wonderfully accessible community; learning something about what makes it viable and committed to community service - to believe in itself and come alive. Early on, we got the ear of Supervisor Gioia, Public Works, stakeholder groups, and most recently appearing in May’s Marketplace Magazine, from an interview, an article was written about C4AGES and our endeavors.

There are many people to acknowledge and be grateful for who have inspired me along the way (if I fail to mention you, forgive me) and helped move our collective vision. Together we have put C4AGES on the local map! I will have numerous adventures to remember.

Immense gratitude to Mary for partnering in all the beginning years and creating our website. The first significant project undertaking, disappointedly, did not succeed in getting a rain garden incorporated into the county’s downtown Walkability Project, despite the eager and professional assistance from Josh Bradt and the SF Estuary Partnership, but which ultimately led to a corridor of Elm trees and planters, which last year Dorcas started beautifully renovating. A special appreciation goes to indomitable Maurice, who provided stunning drawings, ideas and insightfulness and carries a profound vision for El Sobrante Valley. A thank you to Jason and Ken, for the establishment of two mostly native plant sales a year to educate, increase C4AGES presence and provide some cash. I am grateful to the County Watershed Program for the several capacity building grant awards. Our combined efforts brought about several annual socials and great fundraising auctions. Speeding downtown traffic was an issue of concern and Kim spearheaded the downtown Drive 25 campaign, built a new website and handled social media. The Live Litter Free campaign produced a gorgeous photograph thanks to non-resident Eric Blum (view it on each kayak clean up flyer), shooting it was a grand time, and now a prop for an awareness program yet to be developed. It was the formation of our Upstream Action Committee chaired by Merle and Amy, that spawned our annual reservoir kayak clean up going on its 4th year in collaboration with EBMUD. Then, our highly successful demonstration parklet built with nimble and not so nimble hands got Gioia’s attention and the creation of a county wide Parklet Program. The wonderful video for the Mowery Park fundraising campaign was produced so generously by videographer Margo Dean. Most dramatically, the fearless determination of Jason, Bruce, Bob, Roxanne and myself through days of wind, cold, dark and drizzle, installed a 20’ long “Let’s Make It Happen Park Project” banner atop the downtown Mowery property porte cochere. We’ve brought a different awareness theme to each ES Stroll.

All of you at our monthly meetings as well as others who signed up and support us, believe in the value of our mission. It makes me feel privileged, honored and grateful to have been a part of this and the fact that you have embraced my vision and brought your own.

I hope the plant sales and kayak events continue and ES gets its first parklet with Gioia’s help. I hope a miracle happens and part of the Mowery property will be acquired to become the access point to the creek, for a boardwalk to be implemented and eventually a community park.

I see the most essential task for C4AGES as building on the community network to bring people together to plan for a sustainable future, to develop consensus and strengthen our voice in dealing with the county. Being the major venue for outreach, at each ES Stroll, it would be advantageous to set a goal to sign up a pre-determined number of new members to join in this odyssey.