Local non-profit groups are coming together to create peace, plant gardens and bring us music in the mountains. Volunteers of the Lighthouse Project are working toward creating community gardens and the first of these is coming together at Big Bear Elementary School this week, as Reverend Jean Sweet and others begin planting with kindergartners, 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders as of today. Given donations from the Lighthouse Project and the Big Bear Elementary Bobcat Boosters, garden preparations began in 2008. As Reverend Jean explains, “The fruit trees were donated by people in the community and from organizations—Tim Wood actually donated seven of them–and some of the people who are volunteers with Forest Aid also gave us trees. We over-wintered them in the garden, and the children, primarily the 4th graders in Mrs. Erdmier’s class, have been keeping them watered. This last weekend we did a big push in the Peace Orchard, clearing and digging holes for each of the 21 trees, one for each classroom, and beginning today, the trees will be planted. There’s a special club at the school, the Peace Peeps, and their job is to keep all the plants and trees watered. All of this is in the name of peace, because they’re Peace Builders. So, before we plant, we do the peace pledge.” The Peace Builders program is an extension of the Lighthouse Project’s mission to create a child-honoring community in Big Bear. And, as Reverend Jean adds, “Every volunteer is a volunteer of the Lighthouse Project, supporting the vision of school gardens.” These efforts will continue, as the Lighthouse Project’s garden project, as well as the forest restoration program Forest Aid, are the beneficiaries of the Big Bear Discovery Center’s Music in the Mountains concert series, hosted by the San Bernardino National Forest Association at the DC’s outdoor amphitheater on the North Shore. The first of seven concerts will be the Ramblin’ Rangers, who perform this Saturday, May 23. If you didn’t see the Ramblin’ Rangers perform their brand of bluegrass last year, Saturday’s 7pm concert is offered for just $5—and includes San Bernardino National Forest Fire Chief Kurt Winchester (seated, in pic) on guitar and vocals. Additional concerts in the Music in the Mountain series are The Long Run (A Tribute to the Eagles) on June 13, JazzTrax on June 19-21, the DooWah Riders on July 3, A Tribute to the Grand Ole Opry on July 11, Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries on August 8, and the September 5 finale which features Jim Curry’s Tribute to the Music of John Denver. For more information on concert ticket prices, or to purchase, visit the website of the San Bernardino National Forest Association.