Our "Litter Scavenger Hunt Program" is designed to work with our youth - to help them understand that cleaning our communities is something everyone must take on as their responsibility, but in a fun, interactive and educational way.
The program can be personalized for each event, but the basics include the following:
Change the Mindset of Littering:
After the actual scavenger hunt, we talk about each of the elements of the litter - whether it is recyclable; what is bad for the ocean; what is bad for animals... and ideas for how we can get the community to take responsibility for their own trash and stop the littering.
Contact us below and request a program / event for your class / school / organization.
VCC can organize a group clean up for your school / organization where we Beautify the streets (clean the gutters, leaves, sidewalks, weed whack, sweep, etc.) or a Clean Up (picking up trash, debris in paces like the Sepulveda Basin, Parks, LA River, etc.)
We are a 501c3 and can give Student Volunteer Hours for the activity.
Our first Immersion Notre Dame Program for the year! Twenty five students - five instructors this month.
The program begins with an hour educational piece "Respecting the Homeless" at the school. Don led this month's presentation because we were still on Topanga Canyon Blvd with that event.
The group then just boards a school bus and proceeds to Vanalden Patk where they have lunch and we get equipped for the clean up of the Northridge Train Station area. Today was especially important because one of the unhoused on the field had his encampment completely burned up - by another unhoused person or persons and he lost everything! We were going to help him clean up the mess so he can start again.
The group was great! They each got grabbers, bags and gloves and started picking out the debris from the field - helped load burned debris onto Don's truck - picked up litter from the river bed - we used almost an entire box of bags (there are 100 in a box), though some bags were only 1/2 full - so let's say we got about 35 bags of litter off the field plus all the large debris.
We then have a "reflection" tie back in the park where we discuss what was surprising to the students - the most interesting item that they found - what they learned that changed thier original perceptions, etc. A good discussion and end to a great event.
BIG VCC High School program event at Granada Hills Charter High School today.
VCC Volunteers: Steve Hirschberg, Danny, Adele, Steve Graves, Dwight, Cash, Don Larson, Emilie and myself.
Granada Hills Charter High School representatives: 32 including Bonnee Lallouz High School Engagement and Advocacy Coordinator.
Mark Hovater was there to videotape the event - we had donuts and water for everyone as we waited for the vesting, gloves and assignments.
Danny's Group: cleaned Zelzah and the high school parking lot. Emilie's Group: worked the litter on Kingsbury Dwight and Cash's Group: worked the north side of Kingsbury in the curb and sidewalk - huge amount of leaves and trash (30 bags alone)
Steve and Steve's Group: worked Hiawatha street gutters and sidewalks
Adele's Group: Lindley with litter and illegal dumping collection Bonnee and Jill: assisted on Kingsbury with the leaves and gutters Don Larson: picked up all the trash bags and disposed in the school bins It was an amazing event!
The students worked really hard together as teams and made the streets so clean! There was only so much we could do with all the cars still parked on the street, but we worked around the tires and got as much as we could. Everyone felt tired, but great at the end - and the students actually said that they would do this again! That is what it is all about.
Got 85 bags or more... it was hard to count with so many bags being dumped into the bins.
This clean up was suggested by Laney who is the President of the Key Club at Chatsworth High School - she gathered club volunteers and we mixed that with VCC volunteers - Steve Graves - and new volunteers that have joined us for this clean up. We had a total of 17 volunteers! You can get a lot done with that many people.
NEW VOLUNTEERS: Irada Jaliovia and Venera Grigoriyan, Hayden Blatt and his dad and two volunteers that I did not giet the names of - I am sorry.
KEY CLUB MEMBERS: Abbey Santor, Bless Labadlabad, Gerald Labadlabad, Nickolas Trane, Daphne Santiago, Timothy Shin, Laney Seligson, Naveed Shirzadi and Nathaniel Carroll.
We divided into teams of 8 - 4 on each side of the street going around the school completely and up to Devonshire and down to Lassen. We worked 2 hours - it got hot, byt the way - and collect 25 bags of trash and a vacuum cleaner! The students were surprised that there was so much trash around the school - they know there is quite a bit on the perimeter of the inside fence of the school that needs to be done, but we need special permits ot do this work on a Saturday within the school fence line... so we did around the school to help the neighbors.
Great group of students and volunteers - we had fun and cleared 5 storm drains as well so that the water flows into the drains and not into the streets.
TOP PICTURE: TEAM WITH JILL MATHER & STEVE HIRSCHBERG, KATHIE, CASH, DWIGHT, SHARON, ADELE, MARC, MARIANNE, SUSAN, DON & DANNY CHATSWORTH STREET - TAMPA TO WILBUR
BOTTOM LEFT PICTURE: TEAM WITH DAVID WEISBERG, NANCY, LENNY & PATRICK LIMEKILN PARK CLEAN UP
BOTTOM RIGHT PICTURE: TEAM WITH EMILIE KOSTER, ANN, SARAH & KAMESH CHATSWORTH TRAIN STATION
CHATSWORTH TRAIN STATION GROUP This group was led by VCC Lead Emilie Koster with volunteers Ann, Sarah and Kamesh. We had 26 students and teachers in this group that was tasked with cleaning the train station and adjacent bike path of litter. They collected 12 bags of trash and was able to deposit that into local dumpsters.
LIMEKILN PARK GROUP This group was led by VCC Lead David Weisberg with volunteers Nancy, Lenny and Patirck. We had 29 students and teachers in this group that was tasked with clearing the debris from a very old abandoned encampment under the Tampa overpass along with a huge amount of trash that has been tossed from the freeway above. They collected 30 bags of trash, a King mattress, a shopping cart, tons of spray-cans,, 2 umbrellas, several blankets and pillows, 2 bags of dirty clothes, lots of cardboard, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree...
CHATSWORTH STREET BEAUTIFICATION GROUPS (4) These four groups were led by VCC Lead Steven Hirschberg and Jill Mather with volunteers Kathie, Susan, Dwight, Sharon, Marianne, Danny, Cash, Marc, Adele and Don. We had 125 students and teachers. We worked on clearing the pine needles from the sidewalks and the curbs along Chatsworth Street from Tampa to Wilbur on both the north and south sides of the street.
What a feat! And great teamwork by all - raking, sweeping, shoveling and bagging the needles... 316 bags in total!
Mark Hovater visited each site to take video and document this incredible clean up event(s). Thank you Mark!
The groups were picked by by noon and taken back to the school a little tired - and we went to IHOP for lunch treated by VCC. Talked a lot about the event and celebrated the amazing event.
Thank you to Shelly Deutsch the organizer at Sierra Canyon Charter School for organizing this event with VCC!
We are making headway in this creek bed! VOLUNTEERS FROM VCC: Steve, Emilie, Danny, Cash and myself.
VOLUNTEERS FROM SHEPHERD'S CHURCH: Jonette Mitchell and Miles Sharlan organizes this event for the church along with Corey Halloran.
This area has so much trash and debris. We divided into teams to work a longer section of the creek.
It was amazing to see all the yellow vests working an area! The kids worked the grass and trails around the creek while the adults worked in the creek bed. What great teamwork though - everyone just dug in (literally because so much of the debris is buried under the dirt or leaves) and worked so well together. We had to move logs away from areas where a dam was formed in order to get to the debris that was wrapped around or buried in the logs. Everyone helped collect the trash and then some helped to get the bags and debris up to the top area - those volunteers that had true muscles because the bags were heavy because all of the dirt was attached to the clothes, tents, etc.
I know my little group never moved... we worked the dam area trying to clear it so when the next rain comes, it will let things pass - and to get all of the debris out that is just attached to the roots and the dirt. But got a huge amount of bags!
We spent 2 hours working the area... and everyone was still ready to go for more...but we want everyone to enjoy the experince so we stopped... collected the bags into one big pile (2 huge rugs, a large pipe, 2 pallets, lots of wood pieces as well - and 65+ bags! Amazing!
We marveled at the large pile and made a huge difference - but still a long way to go to Victory Blvd which is our goal. We showed the group the beautiful Bird Sanctuary area so that we could end the day seeing pelicans, ducks, egrets and swans - something beautiful and graceful.
BRINGING BACK THE SCAVENGER HUNT & DONKEY DAY EVENT
VCC and Shepherd Church partner on this event this month. We do an event every month with the church and this month they wanted a family event - so we are excited to have this be that event.
We always have to get to the park early to set up and reserve the space because this is "birthday party day" at parks. So Don and I were there at 8am to reserve and set up the area. There was someone already there.. so we had to negotiate the space with them.
VOLUNTEERS: Cash, Dwight, Steve, Marc, Amanda, Marianne, of course Don and myself. Robert and Diane visited as well as Tim Hebert with his dog on a bike ride. Shepherd's Church had Miles, Jonetta (who helped us set up the entire space) and Karen. The space looked GREAT!
At 10am people started arriving - families mostly but some couples as well. We were so excited - so many families - 14 Girls Scouts and Leaders, lots of people from John Lee's newsletter, lots from Shepherd Church and then just our great VCC volunteers from our newsletter. There were 60+ participants today!
We had lots of people stop by and wonder what was going on and how they could join in the future. We had three golden eggs found out of the 10 - and they received Amazon Gift cards... and all the kids who participated in the Scavenger hunt received grabbers as a gift.
Shepherd's Church provided Jersey Mikes sandwiches for lunch, water and snacks.
Everyone said that they were shocked how many people thanked them for cleaning up the streets - gave thumbs up - waved - etc.... we know that the community appreciates what we do but it was nice to see that these volunteers now know how much this is noticed and appreciated.
Plan on joining us for the next one at Warner Center Park!
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