This year’s Creek to Bay Cleanup was a huge success thanks to all of our hard working staff, interns and volunteers! We’ve all had time to exchange stories and reflect on our experiences, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my experience with all of you. This was not only my first Creek to Bay, but my first ever event with I Love A Clean San Diego, so I was excited and a bit nervous as I served as a site captain for Carroll Canyon.
Upon arrival, I noticed how steep the descent to the actual canyon was and felt a bit intimidated knowing I was about to lead groups of students and cub scouts down the treacherous hill through mounds of poison oak. Some of the volunteers blew me away with their incredible enthusiasm and dedication. For example, one man who was volunteering with John Deer Water, showed up at 8:30, which was half an hour before the event even began, grabbed a trash bag and headed down the canyon straight away. He told me this was his third cleanup, and a well-seasoned veteran wastes no time waiting for others. Throughout the duration of the event he made 4 complete trips into the abyss and back with two full black bags of trash each time. Everyone was supremely impressed with his dedication and persistence.
Trekking alongside the creek that runs through the canyon, we were all very surprised to find such a large amount of debris. There isn’t much surrounding the area so it was odd to find so many beer cans, clothing, plastic bins, and Red Box sleeves. How exactly do you watch DVDs in a canyon anyway? At one point, two Cub Scouts were seen in the distance lugging a giant rusted tent and canopy up the steep hill, we all ran to their aid but they refused help because they wanted to be able to say they hauled it all the way to the top themselves. The boys won our competition to see who could collect the most garbage. They were thrilled to receive free passes to the Birch Aquarium. After all of the Carroll Canyon volunteers battled their way through the terrain for three hours, we all felt a little more connected to each other and a little scared we had all contracted poison oak.
After everyone had parted ways, I couldn’t help but feel so proud of our community for giving up so much time to come hang out with me and help make San Diego a bit cleaner, healthier and more beautiful. I look forward to working I Love A Clean San Diego’s future events, and we all hope to see YOU there as well!