100 volunteers sought for Coastal Cleanup
Saturday is the 28th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, and local organizers are hoping to surpass their goal of 100 volunteers at three Valley sites.
The cleanup will be held from 9 a.m. until noon, and Valley residents can pick from one of three sites – Maxwell Farms Regional Park, Nathanson Creek Preserve or Larson Park.
Jim Chayka, watershed stewardship coordinator with the Sonoma Ecology Center, said the Ecology Center is supplying all the things needed for cleanup, although if people want to bring their own work gloves, they’re more than welcome.
“While it’s Coastal Cleanup Day, we’re targeting the inland waterways,” he said. “We want to make sure that trash doesn’t get to the Bay.”
Chayka has fielded a number of calls for people RSVPing, but he said that’s not necessary. People just have to show up and work.
“This is the biggest volunteer effort statewide,” he said. “Even for us, we’re doing three sites. On Earth Day, we usually just do one site.”
He said he’s received word that 30 teen volunteers will be in Larson Park.
People who would like to volunteer can go to the parking lot at Larson Park on Dechene Avenue; the main parking lot at Maxwell Farms Regional Park, 100 Verano Ave.; and the Nathanson Creek Preserve Demonstration Garden on East MacArthur and Second Street East.
At 9 a.m., there will be snacks from Starbucks, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa and MacArthur Place, as those three businesses are partnering with the Ecology Center. And at noon, when the cleanup is finished, the volunteers will receive lunch courtesy of another partner, Whole Foods. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley is another partner and it is supplying labor.
“We’ll be feeding people at each site,” Chayka said. He said in the past, they’ve had a large picnic at one site, but this year, the lunches will be going out to all sites.
Chayka said Sonoma Creek behind Maxwell Farms Regional Park gets frequent cleanings, but Larson Park and the Nathanson Creek Preserve haven’t received as many cleanups.
“We hope to get our volunteers reinvigorated,” he said.
Volunteers should wear layered, comfortable clothing. Conditions may include getting clothes dirty and feet wet. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
In 2010, there were more than 82,500 volunteers statewide for Coastal Cleanup Day.
“We’ll be delighted if we exceed 100 volunteers,” Chayka said.