Take part in this year’s Coastal Cleanup right in your own neighborhood

Take part in this year’s Coastal Cleanup right in your own neighborhood

Take part in this year’s Coastal Cleanup right in your own neighborhoodCONTRA COSTA COUNTY—“Clean the Shore From Your Front Door” is the theme of Coastal Cleanup 2020, since the COVID-19 pandemic precludes large gatherings of volunteers.

This is the 36th annual California Coastal Cleanup effort, which normally brings thousands of volunteers together to pick up trash along beaches and shorelines in the East Bay Regional Parks and throughout the state.

This year, however, volunteers are encouraged to register online and pick any day in September. Then you can assemble cleanup gear such as trash bags, buckets, gloves, trash tongs and face masks. Venture out to pick up trash in your neighborhood – since trash in the streets turns to trash on the beach once the rains begin.

Dispose of your haul and your gloves in your own trash bin. Wash your hands, take the online survey and log your hours.  Don’t forget to post your photos on social media.

Complete instructions and registration for Coastal Cleanup 2020 are available at the park district website, ebparks.org/volunteer. Coastal Cleanup is right under the COVID-19 information.

Focus on firefighting

You can also access the September/October edition of Regional in Nature, the park district’s bi-monthly schedule of events. Special events and in-person nature programs have been canceled. So this edition focuses on the district’s firefighting efforts and ways that you can make your home more fire-safe.

There are also articles about manzanita, bald eagles in the regional parks, turkey vultures, attractions at several individual parks and even a recipe for making acorn mush To see Regional in Nature, go to ebparks.org/RIN.

Visit the park district’s Facebook page. It has a great selection of videos on natural history topics. You can also find virtual tours of several parks and activities that you can enjoy with your kids.

Latest videos include “Clean the Shore,” “Youngest Learners: Rock Hounding” and “RockingTheMask Challenge.” Check out #RockingTheMaskEBRPD. It’s all in good fun.

Wear a mask

While I’m on the topic of masks, please remember to have one with you when you visit the regional parks. It’s important to wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible on narrow trails or at gates.

Until an effective vaccine is developed, masks and social distancing are among the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The rangers and other district staff wear them and really appreciate the public’s cooperation.

Up-to-date information on the status of regional parks, including any closures, is also available at the top of the park district website home page.

As part of its response to COVID-19, the park district is conducting an online survey. Responses will help the district to develop ways of mitigating the pandemic’s negative effects, both while it is still a threat and after it has been controlled and more normal activities can resume.

To participate, go to ebparks.org/covid-19Survey. Thanks for helping out.

Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at nedmackay@comcast.net.