How many days a year do you drive to work? For Dan’l Steward, he can count on one hand the number of times he has driven to work during the past 40 years! As a bicycle commuter, Dan’l figures he has helped the planet by not contributing greenhouse gases or air pollution to the atmosphere and has physically benefitted from his bicycle habit.
In addition to being a bicycle commuter, Dan’l can be found on the water sculling a few mornings a week before sunrise. He always leaves the beach and parking lot cleaner than he found it. Over the years he has picked up hundreds of beer cans, wine bottles, soda cans, and bags. Dan’l has also cleaned the beach for the past 23 years with the Rotary Club of Coronado. Each month, he fills approximately four big buckets full of trash from the rocks. That’s over 1,100 buckets of trash Dan’l has removed in addition to his daily litter clean up.
You may recognize Dan’l as the guy who sat in the tree on the 100 block of E Avenue when the city decided to cut down magnificent 100 year-old eucalyptus trees. His action saved the trees. While the residents lost four trees, the city planted eight additional eucalyptus trees and designated one of the tallest trees as a heritage tree and the 100 block of E Avenue as the Eucalyptus Tree Street.
On July 1st, Dan’l rode his bicycle one last time to the Naval Amphibious Base where he has spent much of his career with Naval Special Warfare — both as an active duty officer and civilian. It was his final day of work. Over the years he has run tens of thousands of miles on the Navy beach where he picked up trash and saved injured shore birds. On multiple occasions Dan’l has scooped up injured birds (some quite large) in his shirt and run back to sick-bay where a corpsman has helped him untangle the birds from fishing gear and hooks. He is proud that all birds he helped save survived.
In honor of Dan’l Steward’s retirement, please pick up three pieces of trash, ride your bike rather than drive, and admire the giant trees on the 100 Block of E Avenue. Happy retirement and congratulations on being our July Emerald Keeper of the Month!