Finding New Ways to Protect Watersheds in San Lorenzo

Earth Team turns to art as a complement to their restoration work

When San Lorenzo High School’s Earth Team found themselves picking up litter at Hayward Shoreline again this February, they were facing several questions. Why was there so much litter present in areas they had cleaned only 2 weeks earlier? Would they have to come back again in 2 weeks to keep this park clean? How much litter would simply flow into the bay during that time? What can we do to stop the litter at the source rather than cleaning it out of wetlands every few weeks? 

The beautiful wetlands at Hayward Shoreline that need protecting

The team decided they have to do more than pick up the litter; they have to stop it at its source in their communities. In their discussion of how to do so, the team faced many challenges. They wanted to identify where the litter is coming from, and if the source of this litter is people or businesses. Would a reduction in the litter require educating the public about the importance of properly disposing of waste, or would it be more effective to lobby for more trash cans, or both? How do we change people’s relationships with the world they live in? 

One of the many pieces of litter found at Hayward Shoreline

In the face of these questions, the team is excited to announce that we will be participating in an art show at the San Lorenzo Library to help spread awareness of the issue of litter in streams, wetlands, and the ocean. Seeing art as a way to speak more directly to people than even words can, the team will be preparing pieces that illustrate the effects of litter on the fragile aquatic ecosystems in our cities. 

Come join San Lorenzo and Arroyo High for our art show on Saturday, March 7 from 10:30 AM – 2 PM. 

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