HFC Weeding Day at Tongva Memorial

Never underestimate what a group of like-minded LMU Lion Students can do – on the afternoon of April 19, 2022, University Honors Program students and members of the HerbicideFree Club (HFC) at LMU descended upon the Tongva Memorial site on the LMU Bluff and made the area look fabulous!

With guidance from CURes Master Gardener Lisa Fimiani, and assistance from our own Facilities Management Team, the four groups were able to remove weeds that had come up from the Winter rain and make the native plants look loved and well cared for.

The goal is to add more native plants, approved by our indigenous peoples, the Tongva Gabrielino, and the students enthusiastically agreed to come back for that day when planting will occur.  The Tongva Memorial is a special site on the LMU Campus where visitors can reflect on the past and look forward to the future, taking in the tributes to our ancestors located on rocks around the memorial.

When standing in the center of the Tongva structure one can speak and everyone on the outside of the ring can clearly hear them, an amazing feature of the site.  While weeding one brave student got a little too close to Cholla Cactus on the Bluff slope and learned first-hand why the plant is called the “jumping cactus.”  Other students rallied to her aid and we were able to remove the jumper from her ankle with minimal discomfort.  That was the only mishap, and the student was undeterred from offering to come back to keep the memorial area looking good – perhaps skipping the Cholla Cactus on the Bluff in the future!

Quintin Yates, who organized the Honors Students and participated, said, “I loved watching the Honors community come together to care for this campus and each other!” Anjali Bose, who couldn’t make it due to a class conflict, nevertheless got the word out to HFC students, and they came.  Upon seeing the photos Anjali said, “As both a member of the honors program and president of HFC, I was so glad these two communities could partner up to help weed and care for the Tongva Memorial. I am definitely looking forward to more great events like these in the future, and am super glad Quinn reached out to help make this happen!”

All in all, it was a great afternoon, where everyone enjoyed the sea breeze off the ocean, got their hands in the dirt, and made a difference on our Campus, with the help of Joey from LMU Facilities Management and Lisa Fimiani from CURes!