To raise public awareness of environmental protection, on April 23, the First District Office of the Los Angeles County, in conjunction with Hsi Lai Temple, the BLIA Los Angeles Chapter, and community administrative units, held an Earth Day Celebration themed “Investing in Earth” at William Steinmetz Park in Hacienda Heights. The organizers promoted the concept of environmental protection, healthy eating of vegetables, and friendly farming concepts, and called on the public to live in harmony with nature and to cherish the earth more, within our daily lives.
On behalf of Supervisor of 1st District of Los Angeles County, Hilda L. Solis, the Hacienda Heights Community representative Frank Lu thanked Hsi Lai Temple for its dedication to the communities and its participation and support for Earth Day. He praised, “Hsi Lai Temple is a Buddhist group with a combination of culture and religion. It is closely connected with communities, and brings harmony to society.”
Venerable Hui Dong, the abbot of Hsi Lai Temple, expressed, “Environmental and spiritual preservation are inseparable. While protecting the environment, everyone should do it with a compassionate mind and wisdom. Fo Guang Shan promotes several programs with environmental and spiritual preservation in mind, like the Vege Plan A, tree-planting activities, beach cleaning action [taken] by the Los Angeles Chapter, etc…. [We] look forward to continuing [our] contribution and working together with various community groups to help protect our earth.”
More than 20 booths were onsite. Valley Vista Service demonstrated organic matter, waste sorting, and recycle programs. Cultiva LA Westlake Community Garden taught how to plant seeds to alleviate global warming. Parks After Dark (a county program of the Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation) and Clean LA (a county program of the Los Angeles Environmental Resources) explained energy-saving techniques and how to recycle hazardous waste. BLIA Los Angeles Chapter introduced Vege Plan A. Hsi Lai Girl Scouts handed out seedlings. BLIA Riverside Subchapter gave away fresh vegetables from a farm. Buddha’s Light Hsi Lai School prepared souvenirs for the visitors.
The performance of the Buddha’s Light Youth Symphony Orchestra, also, attracted many community residents and tourists to stop, listen, and enjoy the wonderful music and nature combo.
President of BLIA Los Angeles Chapter, Alex Wu, thanked everyone for their participation and said, “Hsi Lai Temple and members of BLIA Los Angeles Chapter work together and we are dedicated to protecting our earth with practical actions. While protecting the environment, we should also take care of our minds. Everyone should show their love for the earth by consciously and persistently contemplating and observing their own body, speech, and mind in their daily life. This will truly be the oneness and coexistence of man and nature.” Riverside Subchapter’s president, Yuying Lin, said everyone could feel the Joy of Giving which Venerable Master Hsing Yun strongly advocated.
Frank Lu, Venerable Abbot Hui Dong, and Buddha’s Light members joined together to plant 2 Crepe Myrtle trees donated by Hsi Lai Temple and nourished them with blessed water. A seed of environmental and spiritual preservation was surely planted in each one’s heart. By practicing the Three Acts of Goodness, we will make the beautiful earth a better and more sustainable place.