Helpers can clean up Medea Creek

Volunteers will meet Sat., Sept. 16


BIG HAUL—A volunteer carries off a load of trash during a previous similar creek cleanup. Last year saw the removal of about 2,000 pounds of garbage. ACORN FILE PHOTO

BIG HAUL—A volunteer carries off a load of trash during a previous similar creek cleanup. Last year saw the removal of about 2,000 pounds of garbage. ACORN FILE PHOTO

Jeremy Wolf wants volunteers for the annual Medea Creek trash pickup.

It’s the 25-year-old’s fifth time organizing the cleanup, which will take place on Sat., Sept. 16. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at Kanan and Agoura roads in Agoura Hills and work until noon.

“Last year we removed around 2,000 pounds of trash from the creek,” Wolf said. “People bring out rugs, they bring out things from tables to cigarette butts. We’ve had people find money, hoses, shopping carts, you name it and it’s been found.”

Jeremy Wolf

Jeremy Wolf

Wolf works for state Sen. Henry Stern, who is co-hosting the cleanup with the City of Agoura Hills and Heal the Bay, a Santa Monica nonprofit. The city will provide trash bags and gloves. Volunteers are encouraged to wear sunscreen and a hat. Student volunteers will earn community service hours.

Amy Brink, director of community services for Agoura Hills, said that, for all the trash that’s removed, the cleanup only takes about three hours.

“We’ve been cleaning the same section (of the creek) every year. It’s disheartening that it gets dirty year after year,” she said. “We also do volunteer trash pickup in May, and it’s amazing how many bags we get. It is disheartening but it’s a reality.”

The cost to the city is minimal: a few hundred dollars to outfit volunteers with gloves and trash bags and to provide coffee and pastries.

There will be simultaneous trash pickups at beaches in Malibu, Ventura and up the entire West Coast as part of Coastal Cleanup Day, an international event to improve the condition of beaches and waterways around the world.

Led by Washington, D.C., nonprofit Ocean Conservancy, last year’s Coastal Cleanup Day involved 112 countries and more than half a million volunteers who gathered over 18 million pounds of garbage. Over 700,000 pounds of trash were picked up in California alone.

The event has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records (1993) as the largest garbage collection ever organized.

Wolf said it’s one of his favorite days of the year.

“It really brings the community together,” he said. “(People) are out there, it’s hot, they’re sweating. It’s really fulfilling seeing the dumpster start off empty and by afternoon it’s full. Everyone has a good time picking up trash, surprisingly.”

To volunteer, sign up online at www.ci.agoura-hills.ca.us and click on the Creek Clean Up link.