I Love A Clean San Diego is gearing up for its next Creek to Bay Cleanup effort. On April 21, from 9 a.m. to noon, volunteers will gather to support a healthier environment through trash pickup at Buena Creek in Vista.
Last year, I Love A Clean San Diego reported 6,500 volunteers removed 170,000 pounds of litter at 112 different locations. Stephanie Jackel, president of the nonprofit South Vista Communities, is a regular volunteer at Buena Creek. She and other supporters of South Vista Communities have pitched in since the organization’s inception in 2006.
“The city of Vista is our immediate partner in this, and they are just terrific,” she said. “They let us know when this (cleanup) is happening, and we help gather our volunteers.” This year volunteers will specifically clean up the area around the Buena Creek.
Andrea McCullough, city communications officer, said each year the city hosts this annual cleanup in partnership with I Love a Clean San Diego.
“Every year Vista residents join other volunteers to clean up Buena Creek,” McCullough said. “We appreciate our local volunteers’ efforts and applaud their assistance in helping to beautify our wonderful city and in keeping our waterways clean.”
Jackel said the Buena Creek cleanup area is near The Burlington Coat Factory lot, and across the street at Stater Brothers. The creek stretches from Sycamore Avenue to Shadowridge Drive.
According to Jackel, in 2017 they had about 60 volunteers at Buena Creek. Those who pitch in range from students working on community service goals, to families and members of group organizations.
“If any person volunteering is under 18, they need to have a waiver signed by their parent or guardian,” she said. “Almost every year, we have had a couple of sets of grandparents with their grandkids.”
Volunteers are advised to wear sturdy shoes, long pants and long sleeves. Although water will be provided, Jackel said it’s a good idea to bring a bottle anyway.
Jackel said there is a need to clean up the Buena Creek area. For those unaware of the litter, Jackel said a walk around the creek beds reveals accumulated debris ranging from trash to old garage doors and used mattresses. People would be shocked by it, she said.
The city supplies volunteers with water, gloves, pickers and bags for trash. It also makes arrangements with EDCO to have a large dumpster on site.
“If volunteers find a lot of big items, the city tells us to leave it in a certain place like by the curb and then city crews go by and pick those up,” she said.
Jackel said the Creek to Bay Cleanup is important because it’s about taking care of the community.
“Picking up trash definitely affects our quality of life,” she said.
To volunteer for the cleanup on April 21, register at CreekToBay.org and locate the Zone 2 tab. From there, scroll down to find Buena Creek to complete the registration process.