For years, Clarke Beach Park, in Mercer Island, has been overrun by ivy and invasive species that choke the native trees and destroy the natural habitat. Since June 2023, forty Sai volunteers, including children, from the Sri Sathya Sai Center of Lake Washington have gathered every month at the park. Led by the SSE teachers, they carry out the hard work of removing the thorny ivy from shrubs and trees. On returning the following month, they feel gratified to see native trees returning to life and growing new foliage.

A parent noted that the project was a great family bonding opportunity and let them feel close to nature. The children learn about various plants and how to care for them. They have also begun growing native saplings at home to plant them in the restored areas of the park. Lessons extend beyond the park. Through their SSE classes, the children have learned about single-use plastics, trash, pollution, ecological responsibility, and restoration.

The Mercer Island Parks Department ranger said: “I am truly blown away by your project. Building such a deep love for nature is crucial for the long-term health of our planet. Your group does incredible amounts of high-quality work in a short time. We are beyond grateful for your effort.”