Participants should link up at Mission Bay High School, 2475 Grand Ave., at 9 a.m., wearing closed-toe shoes, long pants and sleeves and hats and be ready to search Rose Creek and environs for trash to take to the dump.
“I’m just back from the creek, and we have plenty of trash that needs to be hauled out of our creek and salt marsh,” said Karin Zirk, a member of Friends of Rose Creek. She noted, “I saw a love seat, a full-size mattress plus plenty of smaller trash items.”
Zirk said this is “no wimpy beach clean-up: this is a job for teamwork, little red wagons and sturdy shoes.”
The Friends of Rose Creek has participated in I Love A Clean San Diego’s Creek to Bay Clean-up for 10 years, which has made a difference.
“The amount of trash has significantly diminished thanks to the hard work of 1,000 or more volunteers over the years,” said Zirk.
Zirk said volunteers at creek clean-ups used to be able to fill a 40-yard roll-off dumpster in an hour with 20 volunteers.
“Now, it takes us three hours and 75 volunteers to utilize 50 to 70 percent of the roll-off capacity,” she said. “When people see a clean creek, they are less likely to dump their trash. When neighbors see neighbors picking up trash along the creek, they are more likely to join in and keep our creek clean.”
This year, Zirk said, I Love A Clean San Diego is asking volunteers to donate a buck for the environment to offset the cost of this passive clean-up. The Friends of Rose Creek will have an official “buck box” on site on April 25.
“Bring a buck, four quarters or an Abe Lincoln note and drop it in the box,” Zirk said. “Together, our bucks will help provide the supplies required to send 6,000 to 8,000 volunteers across San Diego County to pick up trash as well as properly dispose of household hazardous waste and electronic waste.”
Zirk said the Creek to Bay Clean-up is about “passion in action, passion for our creek and our community, with volunteers creating a beautiful spot of nature in our community that we all crave. From picking up fast-food wrappers and beverage containers along the trails to hauling couches and shopping carts out of the creek, volunteers are creating the change they wish to see in this world.”
Noting Rose Creek is “a critical spot of nature essential to the health and well-being of our children,” Zirk added that preserving nature within our communities “helps our children run and play, explore the world around them and learn about their connections with the natural environment.”
This year at noon, as always, Campland on the Bay will host a post-clean-up ice cream social, with traditional and vegan ice cream to reward hardworking volunteers.
“We invite you to find us in the faculty parking lot at Mission Bay High School (the east parking lot adjacent to the creek),” said Zirk.
A volunteer who can show up a little after 8 a.m. and help with volunteer registration and raffle ticket distribution is also being sought.
For highlights from last year’s event, including special drawings made by some younger participants, visit saverosecreek.org.
For more information, call (858) 405-7503 or visit saverosecreek.org.