by Alta Tura
Wayne Lorentzen of the California National Guard was looking for a worthy Earth Day service project when he called me in March. I had just the place that needed a tough, well-organized group with experience in tackling hazards safely. This very needy section of Arcade Creek had not been cleaned for the last few years. Steep banks, lots of poison oak, illegal dumping and homeless encampments make this one of the most challenging of our creek clean-up spots. Because Wayne’s group wanted to clean on Earth Day, they were not officially part of Creek Week. However, we were able to help them by providing advice and equipment such as garbage bags, ropes with hooks, litter getters and t-shirts.
Fifteen soldier and staff volunteers from the California National Guard worked from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 22. They made good use of the ropes and hooks to pull out an engine, a refrigerator, tires, shopping carts and furniture. Enough debris was removed from the creek and nearby businesses to fill a rented 40-yard roller box. The box of collected debris was taken away that afternoon before vandals could get a chance to raid it and dump trash back into the creek. Hazardous waste was separated out and properly disposed. In all, about 1,250 feet of Arcade Creek were cleaned. The volunteers celebrated with pizza donated by Mountain Mike’s Pizza. On behalf of Arcade Creek, we want to thank the California National Guard volunteers for their initiative and hard work.
This article originally appeared in our Summer 2005 Newsletter