“I’ve participated in a few post-holiday beach cleanups over the years, but last year the morning after St. Patrick’s Day I saw that Garnet Avenue and Cass Street could use a little TLC too,” said PB community evangelist/activist Ed Gallagher, who’s spearheading the cleanup. “St. Brigid is the other patron saint of Ireland, and St. Brigid is one of the larger Catholic parishes in our community and is named in her honor. I thought, gee, this concept of a St. Paddy’s Day Cleanup in partnership with St. Brigid’s Parish might be a match made in heaven.”
Gallagher pitched his idea recently to the Knights of Colombus, the community service arm of the Catholic Church.
“Charitable service that benefits the community is the essence of our mission,” said Sergio Lisboa, a Grand Knight with the fraternal organization. “The KOC engages in a wide variety of charitable endeavors like meal programs for the parish community and blood drives and food banks for the broader San Diego area. When Ed came to us with this idea, the brothers and I immediately saw it as a terrific opportunity to give back to the broader Pacific Beach community we all love so much.”
As word spread, many other community groups leaped in to help support the inaugural effort. Brian White from Pacific Beach Town Council and Daniel Bushong of GetTrashedSD donated over 150 trash-picking tools to the cause.
“We’re only asking for a one-hour commitment during the morning of the cleanup,” said Gallagher. “We’ll simply ask volunteers to walk 20 minutes in one direction down the street, then crossover and return back along the other side of the street. Folks that volunteer this year get the honor of being charter members of what we hope will become an annual community-wide effort.”
As an extra incentive to clean-up volunteers, Gallagher reached out to a number of locally owned and operated businesses that are open during those weekday morning hours. He was overwhelmed with their interest and generosity.
Brian Dunlop from The Mad Beet is generously offering every volunteer a free acai bowl. Cameron Blackburn from California Sock Co. will give a free pair of socks. Bird Rock Coffee Roasters on Garnet and the Donut Bar will both offer a free cup of coffee and Rose Wong from the Donut Bar will even offer 50% off any donut to the first 50 volunteers to complete the cleanup.
The Keep It Green & Clean Street Cleanup will commence at 8:30 a.m. the morning of March 18, and there will be three staging stations in the community: St Brigid’s Parish at Cass and Diamond, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters on Garnet Avenue between Bayard and Mission and The Donut Bar on Garnet Avenue at Gresham Street.
For more information check out @PacificBeach-Green&Clean Facebook Page and @PacificBeach_Clean.Green Instagram profile or reach out to any of the events co-sponsors or others such as The Pacific Beach Planning Group, Randals Sandals, beautifulPB, DiscoverPB and/or Facebook community pages such as Don't Trash PB and Pacific Beach Street Stewards.