On June 22nd sixty volunteers arrived at the Buddhist Temple on Bridge Street in Watsonville to join in a massive cleanup along Salsipuedes Creek. Mile markers Placed by Supervisor Hernandez office demark the two-mile stretch of levee which offers picturesque views of the mountains and surrounding city. Wildlife flourishes in the reeds and grasses along the banks. But the levee which borders both agriculture and housing development is compromised by cigarette butts, candy wrappers, water bottles, wood scraps, discarded chairs, and other miscellaneous garbage.
A special thank you to Ramon Gomez, Chief of Staff for Supervisor Filipe Hernandez who organized the cleanup co-sponsored by PGE’s environmental team, Watsonville Buddhist Temple and The Trash Talkers, which includes The City of Watsonville, The County of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County Sheriffs, Watsonville Wetlands Watch, and Watsonville Works, who all collaborated to participate in this cleanup effort.
Watsonville Buddhist Temple offered the use of their parking lot and Reba Condon who does litter pick up on her own on a weekly basis as well as contributing to the beautiful landscaping along the levee for Bay Village was there along with Kirk (as in Captain Kirk) to represent the Temple in the cleanup.
While being interviewed, volunteer Alexa Rodriguez Lopes said: “I am a Student Advocate for the Trash Talkers, I also have been Interning for Watsonville Wetlands Climate Corp Leadership for two years. They have exposed me to the beautiful environment here in Watsonville and I am proud to be joining the County-wide Pitch In Initiative to fight pollution.” She also shared that she is involved in the Farm to Cafeteria program which provides fresh produce, fresh salad specifically, for all the summer school students from Pajaro and Watsonville high schools. Our goal is to bring healthier local food to our students. This will increase healthy food choices, while reducing emissions, which is better for our kids, and our community all while supporting our local farms.
It was an impressive turnout and the neighboring community and those who walk the levee will be grateful for the collective effort that picked up volumes of trash. Now, let’s keep it clean!