Today’s post comes from ILACSD’s Marketing Intern, Brian!
This week our Site Captain spotlight shines brightly on the lovely Barbara C. Anderson at our Lake Murray Coastal Cleanup Day site!
Barbara has been actively working to keep her part of San Diego County clean for over 18 years now. In 1994 she founded Friends of Lake Murray, a community-based nonprofit dedicated to engaging community members about the natural wonders of their shared public space and taking responsibility for keeping that area clean, beautiful and accessible to everyone.
Lake Murray is an important place for Barbara because of its beauty. It’s a beautiful public space where people can exercise and take in the nature that surrounds them. She volunteers her time to ensure that the area is clean, accessible and enjoyed by many – and she has inspired countless others to do the same.
Barbara understands first hand the value of volunteerism. The Friends of Lake Murray organization exists because it’s able to make a bigger impact than the existing lake staff can make on their own. Friends of Lake Murray coordinates beautification activities, clears out invasive species, and obtains much-needed items for the area such as picnic tables and doggie bags.
Barbara’s favorite part of organizing community cleanups is the participation of children and families. She ensures their participation through her outreach to schools, churches and scouts. Barbara loves seeing kids return to cleanups as teenagers. “My theory is if children participate in the cleanups they won’t throw trash on the ground.”
Q: What motivated you to be a Site Captain for Coastal Cleanup Day?
A: When we started as a non0profit in 1994, our group did monthly cleanups. We found dead and injured birds wrapped in fishing line, and there was plastic everything everywhere. It wasn’t possible for the lake staff to do their jobs and also try to maintain a clean environment. When I got the call from ILACSD about participating in a big cleanup day we jumped at the opportunity!
Q: Have you always been a site captain for one particular site?
A: The answers is yes! The lake is important, not only to me but to our whole community, as a place to exercise and absorb nature. Anyone can come out and bike, run, walk, or even just sit on a bench and zone out if they like. Lake Murray has easy access to all.
Q: What’s your favorite part of participating in Coastal Cleanup Day?
A: That’s easy. The Children! I will often hear children ask a grownup, “why do people throw trash on the ground? That’s awful!” It’s a perfect day for parents and kids to bond.
Q: Why do you think events like Coastal Cleanup Day are important
A: One reason to keep the environment clean is because people tend to throw trash in receptacles if the area is trash free. Peer pressure works too though. For example, we were the first to get doggie bag dispensers all over our lake road, and now many other places make them available as well.
You can join Barbara’s team at the Lake Murray site by clicking here and registering!
Not near Lake Murray? Go to www.cleanupday.org and find a Coastal Cleanup Site near you!