Record Breaking Creek to Bay Results

c2b16 mountain view park (247)Today’s blog comes from our Community Program Manager, Moriah who is eager to share this year’s Creek to Bay Cleanup totals!

I am thrilled to announce that the 14th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup was an overwhelming success! This year, we focused on increasing communities to volunteer together in their own nearby parks, open spaces, canyons, creeks and beaches.  In total, our volunteers cleaned up a record 110 sites all over the county!

Totals from around the County are still coming in, but we can confidently report that this year’s event was record breaking all around! More than 6,400 volunteers channeled their appreciation of San Diego’s environment into action and removed more than 170,000 pounds of trash and debris from our county!

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What is even more impressive is that considering how many sites we had, we actually collected less trash than usual.  That means that we are all making improvements in our daily lives to reduce the amount of waste that we create and dump into our environment! On top of this, volunteers also beautified and restored the local environment through removing invasive plants, planting trees and native plants, stenciling storm drains, and performing a variety of park maintenance projects.Before and After - Postage Stamp Pt.

Our staff helped out at our media site, Mountain View Community Park.  While across the County we were expecting rain, the sun came through for a beautiful day.  More than 200 volunteers ranging from community members to corporate teams came out to beautify the park.  We painted bleachers and buildings, planted day lilies, stenciled storm drains on neighborhood streets, and removed more than 4,000 pounds of debris from the park and surrounding community.  It is so inspiring to see members of the community heartened after connecting with the beauty of their local environment.Fox Canyon

At almost every cleanup event cigarette butts and plastic items are our most commonly found items.  This year was no different, but there were quite a few found items that took our site captains and our staff by surprise.  Our North Swan Canyon site in City Heights found 13 rolls of piano music from the 19th Century, quite a few sites reported finding small toy dinosaurs, and New Roots Community Farm found a litter of kittens from a cat that lives at the garden! We are happy to say that the kittens are safe and sound and one of them even went home with Leila, our Recycling Program Assistant!

Meet Tonks aka Lil Sprout!

Thank you again to all of our site captains, volunteers, event sponsors and partners for all of your support! Stay tuned for our final totals, and save the date for our next countywide cleanup, Coastal Cleanup Day, happening Saturday, September 17th, 2015! More information can be found at!

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Thank you from the ILACSD team!



Creek2Bay Site Captain Spotlight – Dixon Lake

I Love A Clean San Diego appreciates all the hard work our volunteers put in to our cleanups in order to keep San Diego beautiful. Today, we would like to highlight one our amazing volunteers who has taken on the role of site captain at Dixon Lake in Escondido. If you’d like to join her at her site or one in your neighborhood there’s still time to register at!

Lori having a blast at last year’s Dixon Lake cleanup!

Lori is a program assistant with the recycling division in the City of Escondido. At the recycling division, Lori handles the disposal of hazardous waste for the city and public education about waste diversion. Through her work, Lori attends farmers’ markets and schools to demonstrate repurposed crafts and recycling 101 as ways to reduce waste.

Lori originally got involved with the Creek to Bay Cleanup a few years ago when she accompanied her supervisor to a site captain meeting. After attending a few more site captain meetings, Lori decided this year she would be a site captain herself at Dixon Lake. 


The Creek to Bay Cleanup gets the community involved and invested in protecting our environment. Lori says, “People come to the sites and make a positive impact on the environment.” She believes that every piece of trash counts and that it also is very eye-opening for members of the community.

When asked why the Creek to Bay Cleanup is so important to her community, Lori said, “We are keeping the area clean, families are out and bonding, and the park rangers enjoy it.”

At Dixon Lake there are few recycling receptacles. Lori hopes to ultimately change that and match every garbage can with a recycling bin.


Lori keeps coming back every year to the Creek to Bay Cleanup because it is a rewarding few hours. She encourages others to come out and spend a few hours with their families to enhance our environment. Lori believes Dixon Lake is more than just a lake, “it’s a beautiful part of Escondido that brings many people together”.

Join us tomorrow, Saturday, April 23rd at one of our 110 Creek to Bay Cleanup sites! If you’re in the Escondido area, join Lori at Dixon Lake or find a site in your neighborhood at!

We’ll hope you join us at one of our 100+ sites as we beautify San Diego!

We are enhancing our environment, starting in your neighborhood.

A big thank you to Lori for all her work as a site captain and to the Escondido Recycling Division for supporting I Love A Clean San Diego’s Creek to Bay Cleanup. Thank you for investing in a clean San Diego!


Creek2Bay Site Captain Spotlight – Spanish Landing

c2b16-flyerEach year, I Love a Clean San Diego hosts the annual Creek to Bay Cleanup, with over 100+ cleanup sites. We like to highlight our volunteer site captains who go above and beyond to help make this event possible. For today’s blog, we’ve chosen Brendan Reed from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority to tell us about his journey to help keep San Diego clean and how he and his team are making a difference in our community. Read on to learn more about how Brendan got involved and how you can make a difference at a site near you.

Brendan is a seasoned volunteer site captain and is committed to keeping San Diego clean. When he isn’t volunteering with ILACSD, you can find him at the San Diego Regional Airport Authority, where he is the Environmental Sustainability Manager. Brendan’s main focuses are energy and water conservation, air quality management, and clean transportation at the San Diego Airport.

Having such a passion for sustainability Brendan finds himself as the site captain at Spanish Landing Park East in Point Loma – what he considers “the front door step” for the traveling airport passengers. Spanish Landing is a relatively new site, which Brendan believes makes it an “untapped” area for cleanups. While the site is generally kept clean, Brendan says that you would be surprised by the amount of trash you can still find and cleanup, especially objects like cigarette butts, old fishing line, and other smaller items. 

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Small pieces of litter really do add up!

Brendan first started volunteering with ILACSD ten years ago when he was the environmental manager for the City of Chula Vista. What keeps Brendan coming back year after year? Brendan says it’s, “ILACSD’s mission and their on-the-ground projects.” Brendan feels that through cleanups, communities are engaged and it’s a great benefit not just for the environment but for everyone. Brendan encourages others to come out on April 23rd at one of the 110 sites because even their smallest actions could make all the difference. “With 5,000 plus volunteers we are making a difference and that’s inspiring”.

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It’s more than a cleanup. Creek to Bay is about community.

He encourages those who are looking to get involved with I Love a Clean San Diego to find a site that has meaning for them. By volunteering at the Creek to Bay Cleanup, we can help reduce our impact on the local environment.

Keep San Diego thriving and show it some love! Save the Date for the Creek to Bay Cleanup happening on Saturday, April 23rd by registering today at!

A big thank you to Brendan Reed for all his work as a site captain and to the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority for supporting I Love A Clean San Diego’s Creek to Bay Cleanup.

Thank you for investing in a clean San Diego!





Hundreds attend kickoff event at Dixon Lake

Here at I Love A Clean San Diego, we like to make it as easy as possible for people to volunteer with us. That’s why we love our Adopt-A-Beach and Adopt-A-Canyon programs—people can schedule beach or canyon cleanups any day of the year, and we provide all of the cleanup supplies for free.

Thanks to a grant from the Escondido Charitable Foundation, we are now able to bring this program to two sites in Escondido—Dixon Lake and Kit Carson Park. These are the first adoptable sites in inland North County, and we’re thrilled to have this program as an option for people who live far from the nearest adoptable beach.

This past weekend, we hosted a kickoff event to officially launch the program. We invited volunteers to join us at Dixon Lake in northeastern Escondido.

And we sure did kick off this program with a bang! A grand total of 402 volunteers collected 348 pounds of trash and recycling from around the lake and nearby Daley Ranch hiking trails. Here’s a recap of how the event unfolded.


Our volunteers listen attentively to the kickoff and safety talk from Lexi, our Development Manager. She covered topics like how trash travels through the community, why cleanups are important, and local recycling rules. She also talked about how to get involved with the newly launched Adopt-A-Canyon program in Escondido. Some of these volunteers have already signed up online and scheduled their next Escondido cleanups!


A team from the Division 37 East Key Club paused for a photo in front of scenic Dixon Lake. Throughout the morning, lake visitors thanked our volunteers for helping to keep the park clean and litter-free!


Miles of trails run along the lake, so our volunteers were able to spread out and cover a lot of ground. Here, a team from North Coast Church walked along one of the lake trails hunting for litter with our trash grabber and bucket in hand!

You never know what you’ll find at our cleanup events! This young volunteer wins our Most Unusual Item prize for finding this full bottle of sparkling cider. Here’s to you!

We weigh all of the trash and recycling collected at our cleanups as a way of measuring our impact and accomplishments. When volunteers use their own buckets instead of single-use plastic bags, we simply subtract the weight of the empty bucket to determine the weight of the trash. The buckets get emptied right into the dumpster—no single-use plastics needed!

A big thanks to this massive volunteer team from UCSD’s Upward Bound program. We love working with big groups like this one to get a lot accomplished at our events. These young students were a huge help!

Interested in adopting one of these sites? Visit to learn more and to schedule your own cleanups. We can provide a free educational presentation to kick off your first cleanup, and if you complete three cleanups over the course of a year, you can apply to have your group’s name posted on a sign on site.

We’ll be back at Dixon Lake, as well as at four other Escondido sites, for our big countywide event, the Creek to Bay Cleanup, on Saturday, April 23rd from 9AM-12PM. Registration opens April 1st at!



Breaking Down a Breezy Creek to Bay Cleanup!

Today’s blog post comes from our Community Events Coordinator, Lexi Ambrogi, who is one of only 2 people who fearlessly and tirelessly planned this year’s Creek to Bay Cleanup!S


As the numbers and results trickle into our office, we’re growing more and more confident of one thing: our 12th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup was a success!

Flash back to 5AM Saturday morning. Our staff members’ alarms were all set to right around this time, and I’m betting that they looked out their windows and thought what I did: that wind! That rain! How is it possibly this loud outside right now?

But fortunately for us, the weather actually improved throughout the morning, and by the time volunteers started reporting to our record 96 cleanup sites throughout San Diego County, it was almost pleasant outside.

While the threat of rain may have kept a handful of volunteers in bed that morning, preliminary totals indicate that we had more than 5,000 people cleaning up their local creeks, beaches and bays as part of this event! And while the trash totals are still being compiled, we’re expecting that these volunteers removed roughly 150,000 pounds of litter and debris from their communities.

Two volunteers pulled this tractor tire out of Chollas Creek, though maybe with a little help…
Two volunteers pulled this tractor tire out of Chollas Creek, though maybe with a little help…

Every year at this event—and Coastal Cleanup Day in September—we look forward to hearing about the interesting and bizarre things that our volunteers find tucked away in canyons, riverbeds and trails. Some of my favorites this year include a cast iron bathtub (Alpine), a teddy bear scientist (Golden Hill), a 6-foot stuffed bear (City Heights), and a 5-pound bag of raw chicken wings (City Heights).

Despite the smoking ban at San Diego County beaches, volunteers are reporting that cigarette butts were once again the most commonly found item at their cleanup sites. With the help of initiatives like our Cigarette Litter Prevention Program, we’re hoping that we’ll see fewer butts on the ground and more in the trash can where they belong. Thanks to all of our Creek to Bay Cleanup sponsors who help make this event possible each year!

A family with the Bank of America volunteer team at Memorial Community Park works together to clean up Logan Heights.
A family with the Bank of America volunteer team at Memorial Community Park works together to clean up Logan Heights.

Looking to join us at our next event? We have a bunch of cleanups coming up in May and June. Click here for more information on how to get involved!


Volunteers at Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach relax after a morning of hard work. Way to go with those reusable buckets, guys!
Volunteers at Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach relax after a morning of hard work. Way to go with those reusable buckets, guys!

What’s What at the 2014 Creek to Bay Cleanup

Amy Millard-105_croppedToday’s post comes from I Love A Clean San Diego’s Director of Development & Marketing, Morgan Justice-Black, who will be attending her 8th Creek to Bay Cleanup on April 26, 2014! 


I remember my first Creek to Bay Cleanup, it was April 28th, 2007. We hosted our kick off site at Belmont Park in Mission Beach, and it was freezing! But, we still managed to bring out more than 200 volunteers at that site, and just over 3,000 volunteers countywide.

Coldest Creek to Bay Cleanup in memory!
Coldest Creek to Bay Cleanup in memory!

Fast forward to today and we are recruiting an impressive 6,000 volunteers each year, double that of just 7 years prior. A lot has changed about Creek to Bay over the year’s, but the constant has been the heart of San Diego residents who come out to lend a hand, despite rain or record high temperatures!


In just a few short weeks, I Love A Clean San Diego will be hosting its 12th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup. Here’s a cheat sheet of what you’re in store for you if you volunteer on April 26th at Creek to Bay. A few things that we have planned for this year’s cleanup include:


1. Currently there are 95 cleanup sites available for volunteers to participate in. This is more than ever before! Cleanup sites stretch from Oceanside to Imperial Beach and all the way out to Alpine! We’ve also got a number of incredible site captains who are leading these cleanup sites. Learn more about some of them as we feature them in upcoming blog posts. See them all online at


2. We are offering Scout patches for Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops who volunteer. Have you seen this year’s patch design? Here it is! Once the cleanup concludes, participants can go back onto our website, and request their patches.



3. The Bring Your Own Reusables campaign is back in full force, meaning that we want all of our volunteers to bring a few things to help reduce our waste at the cleanup. Please remember to bring: a plastic bucket or other container to collect trash in, work gloves or gardening gloves, and a canteen for refilling with water at the event. You may have heard that our Bring Your Own Reusables campaign, which we fondly refer to as “BYO”, received national recognition by Keep America Beautiful this winter. In case you need a visual reminder, here is what to bring:

Bring Your Own
Bring Your Own bucket, work gloves and reusable water bottle to Creek to Bay!
Here we are, accepting the Innovation Award from Keep America Beautiful!
Here we are, accepting the Innovation Award from Keep America Beautiful!


4. Our generous friends at Sony Electronics are once again sponsoring our Creek to Bay Photo Contest! This year’s theme…Be The Change! We are asking folks to snap a photo of themselves or their volunteer group changing our environment for the better at Creek to Bay. More information about the contest and submission guidelines are on our Creek to Bay contest page.

Here's last year's photo contest winner, Evan!
Here’s last year’s photo contest winner, Evan!


5. Just a month after our Creek to Bay Cleanup, volunteers will have the opportunity to get together and share stories about the weirdest items they found at our 60th Anniversary Celebration Event. Join us on May 29th from 6:30 – 9pm at SeaWorld for what is bound to be a great time! More information is on our website too!



Can’t wait to see all of you out there on April 26th for another fabulous Creek to Bay Cleanup. And here’s to hoping that this year’s weather is a little warmer than 2007, but not as warm as 2008!


Creek to Bay Photo Contest – Time to Vote!

On your mark….get set….VOTE!

For the second year in a row, I Love A Clean San Diego has teamed up with Sony Electronics to host a Creek to Bay photo contest. We asked volunteers at this year’s cleanup to best capture the “spirit of service” and send a photo to be entered into our contest. We received a ton of wonderful photos, so it was hard to narrow it down, but we did! We are so lucky to have such hardworking and enthusiastic volunteers!  Our top 5 entries have been posted on our Facebook page and it’s up to you to decide who the winner is! All you need to do is ‘Like’ our page and vote for your favorite photo by liking it, it’s as simple as that! Voting is open until Thursday, May 9th and the winner will be announced Friday, May 10th.  This year’s winner will be receiving a new Sony Cyber-shot camera!

Take a look at our Top 5 photos from this year’s contest (in no particular order):

The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve sure looks a lot cleaner thanks to the help of this young lady!
Working hard or hardly working? These guys show how fun volunteering can be; you never know what you’ll find!
This Girl Scout Troop had a very successful time cleaning up La Jolla Shores! Check out all of that trash! Impressive job!
This 12 year old Boy Scout is saving marine wildlife one piece of trash at a time! Way to go!
These volunteers show what team work looks like at the Chollas Earthlab site!