Posts Tagged 'volunteers'

Coastal Cleanup Day Site Highlight: Volunteers Needed Here!

Can you believe it’s already September? In the ILACSD office, that means we’re in full swing for Coastal Cleanup Day! It seems unreal that it is less than two weeks away. As we amp up for this huge day of action for our environment, we wanted to take some time to show some love to our cleanup sites that are still in need of more volunteers! Volunteers are encouraged to register at a cleanup site in need today at CleanupDay.org!

Stop inland trash and debris from making it out to the beach this Coastal Cleanup Day!

While the beach locations are a big hit for Coastal Cleanup Day, it is still vitally important to spread out our efforts throughout the county. San Diego County has 11 different watersheds that carry debris out to the coast and ocean. This year, we want to encourage volunteers to explore a newer area also! Stop debris from even reaching the beach where it is more likely to end up in the ocean and affect the wildlife.

With over 100 cleanup and beautification sites throughout San Diego County, Coastal Cleanup Day offers this unique opportunity to explore new areas in your own town! Volunteers can find a new area for hiking or a neighborhood park they never knew about before. Check out some of the sites listed below to find a new site you’d be interested in volunteering at on Coastal Cleanup Day. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite hidden gem in San Diego!

Click any of the sites listed below to take you directly to the registration page for that location. If you have any questions about these sites or Coastal Cleanup Day in general, feel free to reach out to our Community Programs Coordinator, Michelle Freeman.

 

North County:

Fallbrook – Live Oak Park

Central San Diego:

Alpine Creek before volunteers cleaned it up last year on Coastal Cleanup Day.

Mission Hills Neighborhood Cleanup

Chollas Creek – Chollas Pkwy at Boyce

City Heights – Auburn Creek

City Heights – Cooper Canyon

Hillcrest – South Marston Canyon

Emerald Hills – Emerald Hills Park

Volunteers in the swing of it on last year’s Coastal Cleanup Day at Cooper Canyon!

East County:

Lemon Grove Park

Lemon Grove – Chollas Creek

Encanto Park

Alpine Creek

El Cajon – Fresh Farm

Last year, Howard Lane Park got an upgrade with new paint! Keep the park in tip top shape at Coastal Cleanup Day this year!

South County:

Chula Vista – Sweetwater River

Otay Valley Regional Park – Saturn Staging Area

Tijuana River Valley – Smuggler’s Gulch

San Ysidro – Howard Lane Park

Otay Mesa – Dennery Canyon

San Ysidro – San Ysidro Blvd

Give Smuggler’s Gulch some much-needed love this Coastal Cleanup Day!

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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!

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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 www.CleanupDay.org!

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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 CreektoBay.org!

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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. 

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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.

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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 CreekToBay.org!

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!

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Record Breaking Turn-out for Tsuanami Sweepers Cleanup

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Volunteers picking up litter before it is swept away by the tide. We are passion in action.

San Diego’s Tsunami Sweepers were at it again last weekend for our first cleanup of 2016! I Love A Clean San Diego has been named the first responder in San Diego to assist in the cleanup of debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami that is expected to wash up on California’s shores in 2016.

While our volunteers were looking for tsunami debris, there was plenty of litter to pickup on our end, as well. Our coastline is the last stop for litter before it reaches the Pacific Ocean so ILACSD and an astounding crew of 305 volunteers set out to beautify one of San Diego’s most scenic and iconic natural spaces, Torrey Pines State Beach.

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Volunteers ready to cleanup with waivers and even reusable buckets in hand!

Even with a chance of rain in the forecast, hundreds of San Diegans turned-out to keep Torrey Pines State Beach clean and beautiful. Equipped with bags, buckets, trash grabbers and gloves, volunteers of all ages spread out across the sandy coastline and walkways. 

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Volunteers took to the walkways in addition to the sandy beach where they found more Styrofoam and cigarette butts.

Thanks to the full moon, the tide was unusually high, but that didn’t slow down our team of dedicated volunteers. Many of them took to the nearby walkways to capture trash before it reached the sand and tide, as well.

On the beach side of the cleanup, volunteers continued to find small pieces of trash including several pieces of fishing net.

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Rocks and boulders are the perfect hiding spots for litter.

In a matter of only two hours, volunteers collected mostly cigarette butts, bits of Styrofoam and food wrappers. Even though our volunteers didn’t find any tsunami specific debris, volunteers still collected over 500 pounds of litter! 

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Weighing the litter at the end of the event is one of the most rewarding parts of every cleanup we do.

If you weren’t able to make it to our first cleanup, don’t worry! We have monthly cleanups as well as two countywide cleanups, Creek to Bay and Coastal Cleanup Day. Find out how to get involved by visiting our upcoming events page!

Black Mtn. Ranch beautified after last year’s wildfires

On Saturday, December 5, I Love A Clean San Diego closed out its 2015 cleanups with a volunteer project and guided nature walk at Black Mountain Ranch Open Space in the 4S Ranch neighborhood.  More than 200 volunteers from the community came out to beautify this natural area, which had been badly damaged by wildfires in 2014.

In just 3 hours, volunteers filled a 40-yard dumpster with things like furniture, exercise equipment, and metal drums—all while learning about the native and non-native plants that grow right in their backyards. Check out these photos from the event.

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Safety first! Our team kicked off the event with a presentation on how trash can travel from this neighborhood out to the coast, local recycling rules, and safety reminders for the cleanup.

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This girl scout knows the importance of picking up small pieces of litter, which animals often mistake for food.

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Our Executive Director, Pauline Martinson, and long-serving board member, Bill Haines, joined forces with our volunteers to beautify the area.

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Our Education Manager, Emily Nelson, and Clean Committee member, Andrew Heath, led a group on a nature walk of the area. The volunteers used field guides to help them identify native and non-native plants. They saw a coyote, too!

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Farther down the trail, some young volunteers helped load bulky items into our truck, which we used to shuttle trash to the dumpster.IMG_2352

Tiny trash is important to pick up, but of course the big stuff matters, too! A team effort helped pull this old fridge out of the ravine.IMG_2363

Two of our board members, Vince Reardon and Michael Page, got their hands dirty alongside our Program Assistant, Vince Rivas, and volunteer Stan Nelson. This is their last haul of debris before calling it quits for the day.

Special thanks to the 4S Ranch-Del Sur Community Foundation for providing the funding to host this project and educate the community about caring for our environment!

Visit CleanSD.org for more information about upcoming 2016 events!

Preliminary CCD Results are in!

The dynamic duo, Lexi & Moriah!

Today’s blog comes from our Community Program Coordinator and co-Coastal Cleanup Day mastermind, Moriah Saldaña!  Over the last few month, Moriah has worked closely with our Community Program Manager, Lexi Ambrogi, to ensure that our second countywide cleanup of the year was a success. Read on to learn more about preliminary totals and view snapshots from around the county!

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Counting all those cigarette butts and bottle caps, although tedious, makes a huge impact worldwide!

The results are still coming in from Coastal Cleanup Day,
but one thing is for sure, Coastal Cleanup Day was an enormous hit! Whether our volunteers were at the beach picking up litter, removing graffiti in their local neighborhoods, or removing invasive plants from canyons, we know that San Diegans are now able to enjoy more than 100 clean outdoor spaces free of litter!

Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego is part of a statewide and international cleanup effort to restore coastlines across the globe. The effort is coordinated statewide by the California Coastal Commission and internationally by The Ocean Conservancy. While international totals for 2015 are not available yet, in 2014, 560,000 volunteers in 91 countries picked up more than 16 million pounds of trash!

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Volunteers at Sweetwater Marsh working together to do some heavy lifting.

Our staff woke up extra early on Saturday morning to lead more than 200 volunteers in beautification projects at Emerald Hills Park in Encanto.  While the focus of the morning was on various planting and mulching projects, volunteers cleared out over 2,700 pounds of debris!

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Hotline Assistant, Ani spreading mulch with a smile!

As for the county as a whole, preliminary totals for Coastal Cleanup Day – San Diego indicate that we had over 7,500 volunteers cleaning up 105 local creeks, canyons, beaches and bays as part of this event!  While the trash totals are still being compiled, we are expecting that more than 150,000 pounds of trash were removed from our county. On top of this, volunteers also beautified and restored the local environment through removing graffiti, removing invasive plants, building raised garden beds, and performing a variety of park maintenance projects.

Team Silvergate recovering items from water

Volunteers at Sun Harbor Marina didn’t stop at the sand.

Every year at this event, and at our other countywide cleanup, Creek to Bay in April, we see that cigarette butts and small plastic items are our most commonly found items.  While unfortunately this isn’t that surprising, we are often stunned by some of the more unique pieces of litter that our volunteers find.  Some of my favorites this year include a set of dentures in good shape, a full fish tank, a dragon statue and a MacBook computer.

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Dentures found at Beacon’s Beach definitely made the top of the odds items list!

See more pictures from Coastal Cleanup Day and our other cleanups on Facebook and Instagram!

Looking to join us at our next event? We have a quite a few volunteer opportunities coming up. Click here for more information on how to get involved!

Meet Stew: a surfer and site captain

Each year, as I Love A Clean San Diego ramps up for the largest cleanup of the year, Coastal Cleanup Day, we like to highlight site captains who go above and beyond. We recently sat down with one of our newest site captains, Stew Aadnes from Encinitas, to learn about why he loves a clean San Diego! Read on to learn more about how Stew got involved and how you can sign up to clean up either at his site or one of our 100+ sites near you. CCD15-Digital-Save-the-Date During the week, you’ll find Stew out in the field as a Site Manager with Geosyntec,  one of ILACSD’s 2015 Coastal Cleanup Day  sponsors, surveying storm drains and other infrastructure to minimize its impact on the local environment. On the weekends, like many San Diegans, you can find him catching some waves at Grandview or Beacon’s, two of his favorite breaks. Whether he is out preventing storm water pollution or enjoying the fruits of his labor surfing, the one thing he often finds is trash and lots of it.

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Encinas Creek is right off Palomar Airport Rd. and easily overlooked. Thanks to this incredible team of volunteers the creek bed was restored.

Stew first got involved with ILACSD at a beach cleanup with his company. He soon realized that he wanted to do more. So he signed up to lead his very first cleanup at Encinas Creek in Carlsbad as a Creek to Bay site captain. If you’ve ever been to one of our beach cleanups you know that we find a lot of small pieces of plastic like straws, bottle caps, and abandoned beach toys. These items cause a lot of harm to wildlife, beach-goers, and surfers, like Stew. However, our inland cleanups are a different story with lots of big, heavy, toxic trash, that thankfully we’re take care of before making its way downstream. Just last spring at Creek to Bay, Stew reported pulling out whole couches, mattresses, shopping carts, and you name it, out of Encinas Creek. He even used rope to create a pulley system to get the heaviest stuff out of the creek bed.  Three hours later, he had two dumpsters full of trash.

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Girl Scouts lending a hand at the Encinas Creek – Creek to Bay cleanup site!

But that’s not all you’ll find at Stew’s site. When speaking with him I asked, “What is unique about your site?” and he shared that there is something for everyone; if you want to get your hands dirty and pull out tons of trash, there’s that, but there is still plenty to cleanup, even for the youngest volunteers. You may be thinking, “Well, what motivates someone to do volunteer to run a cleanup site?” Stew hopes that he can look back in 6 months and see that he helped preserve a piece of nature that was once hidden by trash. Are you looking for some motivation? Stew says, “Come out and get your hands dirty. Put on your worst pair of jeans and get after it.” If nothing else, there’s always Pizza Port to look forward to afterwards 🙂

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Great team picture before heading out for well deserved pizza!

Whether you live in Carlsbad or another part of the county, we know you love your community. Save the date for Saturday, September 19th and register at www.CleanupDay.org for a site that is meaningful to you. Whether it’s your favorite beach where you take the family or perhaps a piece of nature that otherwise would be overlooked, we hope you’ll join us. Connect and protect. Keeping San Diego clean, together. A special thank you goes out to Geosyntec for supporting San Diego’s largest cleanup of the year as a sponsor and encouraging their employees to get involved in their community. Thank you for investing in a clean San Diego! Geosyntec

Curbing Food Waste by Gleaning

amanda-2-photoshopToday’s blog comes from our Hotline Manager, Amanda, who came across this incredible environmental resource called “Gleaners”. When she first presented the idea of gleaning, much of our staff thought it was a play on words to promote green cleaning solutions, we were wrong. Read on to learn more about this eco-friendly trend!

In California, we’re blessed to have ample fruit trees and great sunny weather to grow fresh food, but did you know that a lot of it goes to waste because it isn’t harvested? Perhaps you have a fruit tree at home and have more lemons or oranges than you know what to do with?  Don’t worry! We have a solution, and it’s gleaners.

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There are a lot of things we glean: information, resources, and in this case, fresh food. Gleaning, performed by gleaners, is the act of collecting excess fresh foods from farms, gardens, farmers markets, grocers, restaurants, state/county fairs, etc. to provide it to those in need.

Why should we Glean?

According to the USDA, an estimated 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in low-income neighborhoods that are known “food deserts,” where affordable, quality, and nutritious foods are inaccessible. And yet hundreds of thousands of pounds of edible produce is landfilled each year!

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Local gleaners help collect fresh fruits and vegetables at no-cost! The collected food then goes to local food banks to feed those in need.

Gleaning helps to close the gap, connecting local residents with an abundance of home-grown produce, to people who need it most. This process occurs all around the United States. In San Diego, gleaning has taken a more unique, urban form with a focus on volunteers gleaning excess fruit from residential properties and farms to be donated local food banks.

If you’re in need of help to glean fruit or vegetables from your property, search “gleaners” at www.WasteFreeSD.orgLocal gleaning programs, including Cropswap Carlsbad, and Senior Gleaners of SD County, listed in our recycling database, can both pick up excess produce, as well as offer volunteer opportunities for those looking to donate their time.

Food waste is a serious problem in the US, prompting the EPA to get involved in reducing food waste. They have created a food recovery hierarchy,which helps to promote the best ways to reduce food waste and put excess food to the best use. The diagram below shows that the first priority is reducing the volume of food produced with the second being feeding hungry people with any excess food; gleaners do precisely that. 

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The average american throws away roughly 20 lbs. of food each month while 23 million Americans lack access to nutritious food.

For more information about reducing food waste, please check out the blog Five Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste, written by our environmental educator, Emily. Also, if you see a need in your neighborhood and want to take action or want to learn more about gleaning check out the USDA’s toolkit to help.

As always, be sure to visit our one-stop recycling resource, www.WasteFreeSD.org, to find recycling and environmental resources near you! 


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