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.
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.
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!
MARCH 18, 2023
VCC WAS ASKED TO CLEAN THE OUTSIDE FENCE LINE OF THE CHATSWORTH NATURE PRESERVE FOR EARTH DAY PREPARATION....
VOLUNTEERS: Emilie, Danny, Amanda, Cash, Norlene, Richard, Robert, Adele, Michael, Denise Atkins, Tyler Wilson, Sharon and myself.
CHAMINADE VOLUNTEERS: Asher, Ahrin, Tejus and Rajan Saggar, Jennifer and Brynn Vercillo, Jovanni Pratt, Oliver Sedik, Sophia Yeganeh, Robert Gannaway, Danny Kim, Rich, Xitlali, Payam, Mason, My, Mark Portilla, Emily Simonyan, Rider Mozian, Felipe Gutierrez, Nathaniel, Catherine and Alexander Hou, Ava Golisch, Gavin Karklin, Sophia Gutenmakher, Sadie-Grace Anz, Nate and Dan Hurst, Natalie Kokenda, Brighton, Shawna, Chris and Landon.
48 volunteers in total!
What an honor for us to be asked to do this very meaningful clean up!
And what a crowd - it took a a while to get us going... and to get a picture of everyone... but we divided into 3 separate teams... on team drove to an area near Roscoe and Valley Circle to work from there... another group went to Woolsey Canyon and Valley Circle area ... and the last team worked from the park both east and weat to Plummer and to Lake Manor.
With the 3 groups we worked the entire fence area of the Preserve and it looks so nice - it was farily wet with lots of puddles, but we were able to clean most all of it.
Lots of car bumpers all along the road - even across from the park - some areas were more trash-filled than others... altogether we got 1 bag per person on the clean up - so 47 bags.
Nice job everyone.. and thank you Sharon for the snacks and water. It was a nice day and everyone appreciated the water for sure.
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!
APRIL 17, 2023
VCC Volunteers: Danny, Adele, Sarah, Lorie and myself.
SIERRA CANYON Volunteers: 67 7th grade students plus 5 instructors and the amazing person who organizes this event - Shelley Deutsch.
I was honored to be able to address the students at Sierra Canyon prior to this event through the organizstion leader, Shelley Deutsch. She si amazing... and enabled me to give a backgroudn to the start of VCC and what we do in the community - as well to prepare them for what tasks we were doing on Vanalden to Tampa on Chatsworth in cleaning up the pine needles from the sidewalk to the curb. They were enthusiastic and anxious to do smething great for Earth Day!
They had two buses that drove them to the starting points - Tampa and Chatsworth intersection / Vanalden and Chatsworth intersection. As they dismounted the buses we handed them gloves and broke them into groups of 4. We demonstrated the tasks - one person rakes the side walk pine needles to the curb then rakes those needles into piles to make it easier ot pick up and bag / a second person uses the push broom to thoroughly clean the sidewalk into the gutter and then sweep the gutter clean as well / the third person holds the bag open while the 4th person uses the shovel and his/her hands to get the piles of pine needs and trash into the bags.
The bags are filled about 3/4 full and then tied up so that they will not spill out onto the ground again and placed on the sidewalk by the curb for the final pick up of the bags by my partner, Don Larsen, in his big yellow truck.
The teams were great... they were competitive to see how many bags they could do more than the team next to them... so with that goal - the students cleaned the entire street in a little over an hour into 107 bags! WOW!
The street looks amazing and it was such a good feeling to get this done in such a short time - many hands make for big success!
Thank you Sierra Canyon students and teachers and especially Shelley for allowing VCC to organize this event for you. We look forward to it every year
SATURDAY - JUNE 24, 2023
NEVER THOUGHT IT WAS THAT FULL OF TRASH!
JOINT CLEAN UP EVENT WITH SHEPHERD CHURCH AND VCC...
VCC VOLUNTEERS: Cash, Richard, Emilie, Robert, Danny and myself.
SHEPHERD CHURCH VOLUNTEERS: Lots of volunteers plue ...Miles, Arthur, Rhonda and the GO Team...
Beautiful weather and so many showed up this morning.
Mark started with a huge group picture and then we divided out into different groups to clean all the on and off ramps, the parking lot, the streets and the hillside.
One off ramp heading westward and the island area on the freeway side had 12 bags of trash collected and a shopping cart.
The exit side heading west got us 10 more bags of trash plus a tire and some car parts.
The entrance heading west area got a tire, a shopping cart, a drum, a mattress and 5 bags of trash.
The exit heading west collected 4 bags of trash.
The upper area - parking lot and streets got 12 bags of debris - 6 shopping carts and a huge garage door apparatus.
Thank you to Shepherd Church for hauling the carts to the mall, dumping the drum and the mattress and taking the bags from up top down to the freeway floor for pick up.
What a day! 53 bags of debris off this area in less than 2 hours... amazing and a great team effort! It looks great now and clean... thank you all - especially the Go Team at Shepherd Church.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2023
VCC IS HONORED TO BE PART OF THE NOTRE DAME IMMERSION PROGRAM EACH MONTH
We have been working with Notre Dame and Medene Presley who is charge of the program for over two years - educating and leading students to understand and relate to homeless residents, environmental issues and activities that will help communties be cleaner and healthier environmentally.
We started the day teaching a class at Notre Dame - reviewing environmental issues and introducing VCC and where we will be cleaning up litter for 45 mintues.
Then the group loads a bus and takes off for the site. 32 Notre Dame.
At the site, Cash and I readied the bags and the grabbers - they were given vests and gloves at the campus. We had 5 team leaders form the school - so divided that way - 2 on the bike path - 1 in the parking lot - 2 on Balboa heading south.
The bike path ggroup got 14 bags of litter amongst them. The parking lot group got 3 bags and the Balboa group got 12 bags of trash - plus bumpers, tires, metal, etc.
29 bags in total!
The area is more clean now.. but needs some more TLC on another day...only made it a short way on Balboa and on the Bike Path area...
Love working with the group - Medene and the students. Look forward to the next time - next month.
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