Many Earth Team interns were excited to embark on trash cleanups around the city of Pinole. These cleanups involved tremendous amounts of teamwork and planning that were to be successfully coordinated by Earth Team staff and members of the Friends of Pinole Creek Watershed. Like my other interns, I was enthralled and energetic to hear the news of litter cleanups [for the 2022-2023] year. Today I would like to present the significance of community events and how they have changed the course of action for policy and leaders within my local community.
Why are community events significant?
Community events bring together people from all walks of life. They allow us to connect to the very people that run our cities, counties, states, and even countries. It’s a good way for citizens to communicate with strangers and family alike, based on common interests. In this case, for the litter cleanups that my team and I have been fortunate and honored to take part in, we have been excited to partake in several community events that have allowed us to reconnect. One example of the significance of community engagement is with younger generations. Whilst completing litter cleanups, it has been vital and important for us as interns to be able to reach out and participate in community events that will strengthen our bonds with others. Group enlightenment and outreach extend far beyond our understanding, as social interactions broaden our understanding and involvement in world issues such as climate change activism and awareness. Younger generations being exposed to these things is impactful and keeps communities together.
What did we DO?
Earth Team, Friends of Pinole Creek Watershed, and other volunteers within Pinole and neighboring counties/cities have come to several litter cleanup events during 2022/2023. This has allowed us to work on projects together that help clean our environment. In fact, February Pinole Creek Ally cleanup at Bayfront Park harbored 124.24 lbs of trash collected. Additionally, we had 53 volunteers alongside PCA and ET to assist us!!! We had the most amount of volunteers assist us during this cleanup at Bayfront Park.
Here is the quote from PCA’s website accompanied by a photo from the event itself.
“Every month, Pinole Creek Allies co-hosts a creek cleanup with a community group in the Pinole Creek Watershed. We are collecting data on the type, material and origin of trash that we find during our cleanups.
Our past co-hosts have included Earth Team, Friends of Pinole Creek Watershed, and Pinole Valley High’s Ocean Conservation Club. We look forward to continuing to connect with community members and groups in the Pinole Creek Watershed!”
The Pinole cleanups are an amazing opportunity to get out in your community and get involved with events that change the course of policy. Concluding this article, I will explain the impact that these events have had on the local city council, policy, and our mayor himself. City council has allowed for us Earth Team interns to be present at council meetings, to voice our concerns about the safety of our environment locally and globally. This has allowed for us to platform and participate in some important social activism. Additionally, our efforts, alongside FoPCW have influenced the council to adopt trash cans in sights where trash has been heavily found. Finally, our very own Pinole mayor, Devin T. Murphy, aided us in a cleanup around the local Pinole Library and high school. During the cleanup, I got to clean with him and get to experience his vibrant personality, which serves in honoring the very nature we come from. It was an honor to be connected to someone like this in my community, in our events, and within the confides of Earth Team.
-Randy Snook, Senior Earth Team Pinole Intern