How Can One School Help?
By Asha Bucklin, Communications Manager
In fall 1993, KIDS for the BAY third grade students at Dover Elementary School in San Pablo decided that they had had enough of all the trash in their local creek!
On special Field Trips to Wildcat Creek in Davis Park, these young KIDS for the BAY scientists studied aquatic invertebrates, creek-side plants and the pathway of the creek through the park to the San Francisco Bay. They also completed pollution surveys and especially noticed the amount of plastic trash in and around the creek near their school.
Dover School students learned how trash from the creek gets swept into the bay and eventually the Pacific Ocean during rainstorms. They were heartbroken to learn that animals can mistake plastic for food and die from choking, suffocation, ingestion and starvation due to plastic trash. The students really wanted to do something to help with these problems and they soon realized that they could start in their own backyard! .
Our young environmentalists contacted the City of San Pablo’s Clean Water Specialist, Adele Ho, and asked her to help them with their creek clean-up project. The City provided garbage bags and trash tongs and we held the first Wildcat Creek Clean-Up Event in the spring of 1994. Students reached out to their families and friends and gathered together to help clean up Wildcat Creek. After a couple hours of picking up trash, plastic, and other polluting items the students surveyed their work and were so happy that they had helped their creek and Davis Park! The City was also very proud of their efforts, and recognized the students with special certificates.
The City of San Pablo was so impressed by the work of the third grade Dover students that the Wildcat Creek Clean Up is now an annual event supported by the City of San Pablo and KIDS for the BAY, which brings local schools and families together to continue to clean up Wildcat Creek!
On October 5th, 2019, we celebrated 25 years of the Annual Wildcat Creek Clean Up! With a team of dedicated volunteers, four hundred and eighty gallons of trash were removed from the creek and Davis Park. In the past 25 years, volunteers have removed an estimated 12,000 gallons of trash from this section of Wildcat Creek! Here’s to 25 more years of environmental stewardship!