Camp Fire survivors, their supporters and #Climate Uprising film crew endure snow and cold to make their point

Not even cold and snowy weather could stop Camp Fire survivors, their families, supporters and the #Climate Uprising film crew from making their point: Climate change is real, it’s happening now, we don’t want this to happen to anyone else and we need to rise up and speak out now against the forces that continue to deny these realities.

About 200 hundred people gathered amidst piles of toxic ash, twisted metal and hundreds of dead trees for a group photo that will commemorate what took place on November 8th, 2018, in Paradise, Butte Creek Canyon, Magalia, Concow and Yankee Point, California – the deadly Camp Fire.

Here are my photo highlights of the event.

Group photo.

These children lost their home in the Camp Fire.

Nirvan Mullick, co-founder of #Climate Uprising and film director.

Some of the #Climate Uprising film crew.


Vocalist Susan Dobra and singer/song writer, John-Michael Sun became iconic symbols of what climate change is doing to the Earth and its inhabitants when #Climate Uprising filmed John-Michael singing and playing his guitar in the middle of their burned out home.

John-Michael Sun, photo by #Climate Uprising, taken soon after the fire. You can hear John-Michael sing his song, “I’m a refugee and I wanna go home” on the #Climate Uprising FB page.


Mary Kay Benson of Chico 350 asked the crowd to sign their Declaration of Climate Emergency (DCE) that will come up before the Chico City Council in the near future. Go to their FB page to endorse the DCE and for more information.


“Kale,” one of the event’s participants.


Ashley Turner grew up in Paradise.


Professor Mark Stemen, chairman of the ad hoc Sustainability Task Force, will ask the Chico City Council to form a permanent city commission on climate change at the Feb. 19th city council meeting. He asked everyone to attend the council meeting.


After the group photo participants were asked to lie down on the road to spell out the words “#Climate Uprising” while drones photographed them from overhead.

I was cold lying on the wet road, until I saw the clouds drift across a wide blue sky, and in that beauty I forgot my discomfort.  In the very midst of tragedy, beauty will somehow prevail. .

















Park Volunteers Plant Acorns “For the Future”

On a bright fall morning eleven volunteers gathered at One Mile in Bidwell Park to plant acorns, including an expectant mother who was glad to know her newborn would be able to see the growing trees. The day of the planting was on “Giving Tuesday” and these folks certainly gave back to the Park their love and appreciation for everything the Park has given them. “I wish I could walk in this Park everyday,” said volunteer Batool Aladawood, a busy pre-medical student.

Many of the oldest Valley Oak trees in Bidwell Park were toppled by last winter’s storms and lie now like fallen giants among the grass and shrubbery of the park grounds. According to Richie Bamlet (he likes to be called “Richie”), Chico’s Urban Forester, we need all ages of trees to rebuild and sustain our precious natural resource – our urban forest.

When I asked Richie why plant these tiny acorn seeds now, he simply replied, “For the future.”

Volunteer acorn planters.


Local, native Valley Oak acorns to be planted.


Richie Bamlet, Urban Forester, demonstrates how to plant the acorns.


Three acorns are planted in hopes that at least one will germinate and take root.


Next, a protective cone is placed around the newly planted acorns.


Rich Ober, former Parks Commissioner, and Batool Aldawood, pre-med student and CAVE volunteer, are the first acorn-planting team to break ground.


L-R, team leader, Robin McCollum of Chico Tree Advocates, Shelly Corley, mother of Marisa Stoller, pregnant acorn-planter.


On left, Aaron Holt, Senior Maintenance Worker and on right,Dave Bettencourt, Field Supervisor, place protective and decorative cages around the planted acorns.  Due to city department cut-backs, Bettencourt and Holt make up the entire city Tree Crew.