SUISUN CITY — Coastal Cleanup Day brought out local groups who rolled up sleeves and slid on gloves for the task of beautifying the waterways of Solano County.
The goal for Saturday was to clean up the watersheds and waterways, emptying them of trash from as far away as Lake Berryessa to the creeks in Fairfield, Suisun City and Vacaville.
Eleven sites were marked along creeks for cleanup: American Canyon Creek, Beldens Landing, Hill Slough, Laurel Creek, Ledgewood Creek, McCoy Creek, Serpas Ranch Open Space, Upper Dan Wilson Creek, Lower Union Creek and the Suisun boat ramp.
Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts joined together at the boat landing in Suisun City to clean up the marsh area with the help of Anheuser-Busch Brewery employees, who helped organize the groups for the three-hour event.
Angie Jones-Bateman of Fairfield brought her daughter, Gabrielle, 10, some work shoes because she wore her good shoes for the clean up. Her daughter just started Girl Scouts and so this was her first cleanup day.
“This is a great opportunity for the kids because it gets them off the TV and off the cellphone and shows them what it means to help,” Jones-Bateman said.
Cub Scout JaVonn Liggon, 9, of Fairfield, was working his third year of coastal cleanup and said he was excited to get back out into the marsh.
“It’s fun because I get to help pick up trash, but I don’t like getting cut,” he said.
This was a family day for JaVonn: His grandmother, Lory Hoffmann, who is Girl Scout troop leader for Troop 20287, and his grandfather, Geoff Hoffmann, who helps out with Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts events, were right there with him.
Lory Hoffmann just began as troop leader. This was her first time leading the girls on a Coastal Cleanup Day. She brought seven girls for the activities and she noted that 20 Cub Scouts came out.
“They are from several different troops,” she said.
The day had multiple goals for the troop. They went after lunch to the Suisun Wildlife Center to drop off blankets, bleach and other items. The project helped them to earn their wilderness badges.
“I think they will love visiting the animals,” said Lory Hoffmann in anticipation of the post-cleanup excursion. “I thought it would be fun after doing the cleanup.”
The children were a ways into the marsh as they worked, which meant they all needed to be mindful of watching their steps and staying out of the water.
“The worst really is the blueberry bushes, which cut you,” Lory Hoffman said.
Mike Segala, owner of Segala Maintenance and Repair and a member of the City Council in Suisun City, brought his truck around so the children could pile the trash in the back.
Segala said he has been doing this for longer than he can remember for both the city as a worker and for his business. He brought one bag out, which was filled with trash from kayakers on the water who wanted to help with the cleanup while they were fishing.
“This is really a community event today,” Segala said.
Each year he learns something new for efficiency of cleanup and tries to apply that the next year. This year he brought his truck out to the area where the children were collecting garage so they could just dump it in the truck and not have to move it to another area for pickup.
He said police on Friday night moved a couple of homeless campers out of the area and it was really nasty where they had been camping.
“They made the area into a toilet,” Segala said. “It spoils the area for the Wildlife Center to do any kind of learning for the children.”
Despite the mess, Segala said he was pleased to see so many people working together to make the open spaces a better place for everyone to enjoy.
“It’s great for everyone, the fisherman are out enjoying the day, Budweiser is here helping out,” he said. “It’s just a great event.”
Marianne Butler, environmental education program manager for the Solano Resource Conservation District, said in a press release that 2,452 volunteers took part in Coastal Cleanup Day activities at 60 locations across the county.
She said a total of 29,638 pounds of trash and 5,916 pounds of recyclables was removed from waterways across the county at locations that included 79 miles of neighborhood parks, hiking trails, bridges, creeks and lakes.