There was a big group of students from Fremont High School in Oakland, who mostly worked down by the creek, as well as a troop of girl scouts who cleaned up the playground area. The rest of us, a mixture of nearby neighbors and people like me who came from elsewhere in Oakland to volunteer, worked in the gardens and along the entrance walkway from Coolidge.
I worked on picking up trash, and trimming around the interpretive signs in the garden. While some of signs were pretty grown over, it was easy, relaxing work. It was also a pretty short work day, from 9am until noon, so it made for an easy way to help cleanup Oakland and the bay.
Trash that ends up near the creek frequently ends up in the creek, and then in the bay. Besides being unsightly, the garbage can injure or kill wildlife. It's a big, ongoing problem—last year's Coastal Cleanup Day picked up 1.3 million pounds of trash. Fortunately there were thousands of volunteers out around the bay and California working to clean up waterways and the coast again this year. Thanks to everyone who turned out!
But you don't need to wait for a special day. Next time you're out walking along the shore, or just walking around Oakland, stop and pick up trash and throw it in a garbage can. Every piece you pick up is one piece that doesn't end up in a creek, the bay, or the ocean. It's an easy way to help make Oakland (and beyond) a little bit better.