It all starts with milk jugs. 700 of them, in fact. For six weeks, starting in mid-November, ECPC members collected empty milk jugs daily from our partners in crime at Peets Coffee and Starbucks. They washed them out, piled them up, and brought them over to ECPC where they awaited their New Year’s Eve transformation.
Then, after Christmas, members took the ornaments off their trees and brought them over to the school, where they too would be recycled into what has become a favorite annual tradition at ECPC – the Magical Forest.
On New Year’s Eve, while many were preparing for their evening parties or settled at home watching the 49ers close out their season with their fifth consecutive win or the Raiders finish with a fourth straight loss, over a dozen ECPC members gathered at school to transform our huge front yard sandbox into a spectacular forest, at the front of which sits the pièce de résistance — a giant igloo. Some planned the layout, others sawed and planted the trees, while another group of dedicated engineers glued, zip-tied and constructed the igloo from scratch.
Seeing the kids’ faces as they walk into this winter wonderland on the first day back to school is a highlight of the year for us, and we know parents, alums and friends enjoy it too.
If you have a child under 3 and are considering ECPC, come to our Open House Sunday, January 12, from 10am – 12pm, and let your child see the magic themselves.
Many thanks to Peets on Solano and Starbucks on Solano and at El Cerrito Plaza for their generous donations of empty milk jugs, all the ECPC families who donated their leftover trees and helped build the forest, and Patrick, our Magical Forest Coordinator! We couldn’t do it without all of you.
Photo credits: Linda Craig, Sasha Tierney and Patrick Stockstill.