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Honored to Help Rebuild Arroyo Verde Park
The rebuilt playground at Arroyo Verde Park will feature new play structures, a sensory garden, planting areas, decomposed granite path, concrete sidewalks, two new drinking fountains, updated ADA parking and an upgraded accessible path of travel to the existing restroom. (Rendering courtesy of the Ventura Community Partners Foundation)
Ventura’s Arroyo Verde Park is a uniquely beautiful piece of land and a treasured part of the city’s history.

Open to the public since 1961, the wooded, 132-acre hiking park in the hills and canyons above Foothill and Day roads took a major hit three years ago when it was badly damaged in the Thomas Fire. Among other things, the park’s popular playground was destroyed.

The playground rebuild has been a long, involved and expensive project spearheaded by the city, in conjunction with the Ventura Community Partners Foundation and with the help of generous community donors. The upgraded, 10,000-square-foot, inclusive playground is expected to open in late 2021.

In Harrison’s ongoing efforts to give back to our partner cities – and especially to help local youths – we took a leading role in sponsoring the playground rebuild project. The city thanked us kindly on Sept. 28, during a virtual City Council meeting in which Harrison was publicly commemorated for being the project’s No. 1 corporate donor.

Harrison’s donation is “going to go a long way toward getting this rebuild done,” Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere said at the meeting.

“We wanted to recognize the Harrison family’s support, for this and really all of the philanthropic work they’ve done in the city,” LaVere said. “They really are one of our great corporate partners here, and this is going to be really a huge catalyst in getting this playground rebuilt.”

In a brief video played after LaVere’s remarks, Myron, Ralph and Jim Harrison acknowledged the city’s thanks. “To be involved in Arroyo Verde Park makes us all very happy,” Myron said. “All of our kids played baseball there. I used to ride up there on my bicycle all the time, myself and my wife, so to get to do this event with the city of Ventura, we’re really happy to be involved.” (See video below.)

For more information on the playground rebuild and opportunities to help, visit
Keep On Recycling!

For Earth Day and always, we at E.J. Harrison & Sons have a simple message for everyone: DO NOT STOP RECYCLING!

Mixed messages about the down market in the recycling industry statewide may have confused people, but our partners at Gold Coast Recycling are still processing what you put in your containers and they’re asking everyone to please keep up the outstanding recycling habits you’ve formed over the past several decades.
A GENTLE REMINDER: We still are seeing plastic bags in our blue recycle barrels and white recycle bins. Those plastic bags are our biggest residual item, and they greatly slow down the sorting process. They are nothing but trouble. PLEASE KEEP YOUR RECYCLABLES CLEAN AND LOOSE, NOT IN PLASTIC BAGS!

SEE THE PROCESS FOR YOURSELF: A new video of Gold Coast’s upgraded recycling system at work is now up on its website,
We Had a Blast at BSA’s ‘Shootout for Scouting’
Pictured in the bottom photo, brothers Ralph, Jim and Myron Harrison were among the 14 men on Harrison Industries’ three teams at the Shootout event. Taking third place among the 24 competing teams was our Team No. 2, composed of, in the top photo on the left, from left, David Harrison, Jeff Abeloe, Dave Green, Mike Harrison and Jim Harrison. In the top photo on the right, Ralph takes steady aim during the competition.
Harrison family sharpshooters once again aimed to assist the Boy Scouts of America’s Ventura County Council, when they took part in the council’s annual “Shootout for Scouting” fundraiser.

Harrison Industries is a longtime sponsor of this friendly but fiercely competitive annual event, which took place on Oct. 2 at the Oak Tree Gun Club in Newhall. Harrison Industries provided three teams for the event. Our Team No. 2 placed an impressive third among the 24 competing teams, with 327 points – led by David Harrison, with 69 points.

Each year, the event brings in tens of thousands of dollars for local Boy Scout programs. As always, we had a great time taking the day off and enjoying the great outdoors!
Honoring Our Hispanic Heritage
National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, as a way to pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our country and society.

Following on its heels, around the first of November, is Día de los Muertos, a hallowed Hispanic holiday to honor deceased loved ones. Locally, the Museum of Ventura County observes Día de los Muertos with an annual public celebration; Harrison is the primary corporate sponsor of the festive daylong event, which last year took place at the Agricultural Museum in Santa Paula.

This year, the celebration was modified to accommodate the pandemic. Instead of a one-day event, the public was invited to drop off mementos throughout October for a public altar in the plaza outside the main museum in Ventura; honoring local families, the altar was open for public viewing from Oct. 31 through Nov. 3.

In addition, on Sunday, Oct. 18, the community was invited to a special “grab-and-go” holiday-inspired gift bag event that we were proud to sponsor at the Ag Museum. While supplies lasted, those who stopped by the museum received colorful bags containing materials for Día de los Muertos crafts projects. We also saved a few to share with our employees.

With our workforce rich in Hispanic heritage, our employees helped inspire us to become a business member of the museum, which regularly presents public exhibits celebrating our local Hispanic history.
“The Museum of Ventura County celebrates our region’s Hispanic heritage and accomplishments throughout the year,” museum Executive Director Elena Brokaw said. “We are especially pleased to have the support of E.J. Harrison & Sons to help shine a light on the beloved tradition of Día de los Muertos.”

Harrison’s Hispanic roots date back to our founding 88 years ago by E.J. and Myra Harrison. Born Marina Velarde on Feb. 17, 1915, in Ventura, Myra Harrison was one of 12 children of Francisca Moraga Velarde and Elias Velarde. Myra was a direct descendent of Lt. Jose Joaquin Moraga, a member of the DeAnza party, which founded the San Buenaventura Mission.

Myra always took great pride in her Spanish heritage and so does her family and everyone else here at Harrison – always and especially during this month and a half of sacred celebrations.
Thanks to Coastal Cleanup Month Volunteers
In this unique year, we at E.J. Harrison & Sons would like to send a special commendation to those who took part in the annual end-of-summer California Coastal Cleanup “Day” – which this year lasted the entire month of September.

Spread out amid concerns about the coronavirus, the 2020 statewide event was a relative success, with an estimated 10,000 people turning out throughout the month to volunteer at 3,000 cleanup sites across the state, gathering nearly 70,000 pounds of trash from coastlines, inland waterways and other natural spaces.

It wasn’t anything like past Coastal Cleanups, which regularly set records for being the largest volunteer events on the planet. Last year, for example, the single-day statewide event drew 75,000 volunteers, who in the space of three hours cleared some 900,000 pounds of debris.
Still, organizers of this year’s 36th annual event – spearheaded by the California Coastal Commission – said they were more than happy to put a dent in the trash that was making its way to our oceans and other waterways and grateful for the help in getting it done before the rainy season. (A side note: The trash gathered this year reflected the pandemic, including an abundance of disposable face masks and takeout food packaging and utensils.)

Harrison is proud to take part each year in local California Coastal Cleanup Day events; as usual, we were happy to provide extra service this year throughout our service area, whenever we were asked.

Our thanks and congratulations to all. And remember to do your part during the holidays to cut waste by following suggestions for a waste-free Christmas.
Nan Drake
Harrison Industries
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