Pedro Isao Mori
The University of La Verne’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement paired up with the La Verne Ocean Movement Club to host a beach cleanup at Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach on Saturday.
Despite the event’s early 7 a.m. start, it was well-attended by 27 students, and cleanup lasted to 11:30 a.m. Upon arrival, students received a free t-shirt with the words “Community Service since 1891” written on the back.
The cleanup had students compete to collect the most trash possible. The team with the heaviest bag received first pick of the prize pool that included caps, umbrellas, cups and more.
The organizers of the event placed an emphasis on the importance of finally being able to organize an off-campus service event, which had long been delayed due to COVID-19.
“I am glad that as a campus community we went out and we lived out our core values of civic and community engagement,” Julissa Espinoza, director of Civic and Community Engagement said. “I’m glad that we can live out our core values and not just talk the talk but walk the walk.”
Stephanie Pedrazo, a ULV alumna, was also there on behalf of the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on protecting the oceans, to offer help and provide students with snacks, food and prizes for whichever team managed to collect the most trash.
The types of garbage found were wide-ranging. Most people found expected forms of garbage like candy wrappers, bottles and abandoned toys.
The highlight of the day came when a group of students found a whole wheel with the brakes, axle and piston still intact laying right next to the freeway. Coming in at roughly 80 pounds, it was the single heaviest piece of waste found on the day.
Other notable findings included a pillow, a beach towel and a giant brick whose use was never quite identified.
“My day at the beach clean up was very eventful. I felt very grateful for being able to have the opportunity to give back to my community,” freshman political science major Aolani Miranda said.
Sophomore English major Jennifer Sanchez-Sumano said that the event was an opportunity for meeting new students on campus.
“I normally don’t do in person events,” Sanchez-Sumano said. “Especially after the pandemic, so this was my first in person event as a volunteer.”
“I thought it was going to be simple,” Jonathan Saldivar, freshman kinesiology major, said.
“Go out to the beach and clean up, but it ended up being fun and I met a bunch of new people.”
Pedro Isao Mori can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.