Young Environmentalists Protect Wildcat Creek

Written by: Mikayla Martin

Why are creeks important? Acting as a channel for water, creeks are natural drainage systems that help direct the change between water, nutrients, sediment, and wildlife. Critical for the health of communities, creeks improve water quality, provide habitat, help with flood control and beautify neighborhoods. Wildcat Creek is 13 miles long and originates at Vollmer Peak in Tilden Regional Park. It flows through the Berkeley hills, Richmond, San Pablo, Davis Park, and eventually out into the San Pablo Bay.

In partnership with Dover Elementary School, Saint Paul School, Helms Middle School, and the City of San Pablo, KIDS for the BAY celebrated the 27th annual Wildcat Creek Cleanup event on October 9, 2021. Volunteers gathered at Davis Park, equipped with trash bags and tongs to begin the cleanup. Twenty five volunteers collected 28 bags of garbage! These amazing environmentalists found a bicycle, home appliances including a microwave and TV, as well as household furniture including a couch, side table, and a laundry basket, that we all helped to pull out of the creek.

“I can’t believe I carried that huge microwave out of the creek by myself!”

– Paul Byrns, Saint Paul School student, San Pablo.  

Many of our volunteers came as family ‘quaran-teams’ to support the event. Student siblings, Sebastian and Valentina Tejada (pictured bottom right, above) were joined by parents Daniel and Jacqueline, to help volunteer as a family. Daniel Tejada (Dad) explained, “This is our first time volunteering at a cleanup event. We hope to join other events in the future.” 

Additional families had groups of two to four team members, and each group made a significant contribution to the effort. KIDS for the BAY staff member, Yvette Diaz Samayoa, who grew up in San Pablo and organized the Wildcat Creek Cleanup event on the KIDS for the BAY team, was joined by her Mom, Yesenia Diaz, to help clean up the creek. Going into the creek bed, walking around the surrounding vegetation, and carefully scavenging around Davis Park, our family teams were able to pick up a wide array of litter to help protect the watershed.  

Environmentally friendly prizes for those who participated in the raffle were provided by the City of San Pablo, including reusable water bottles and educational coloring books.

Karineh Samkian, Environmental Program Analyst (pictured above), from the City of San Pablo, also helped to organize this event. She shared, “I was thrilled with the number of dedicated volunteers who came, worked hard, and stayed the whole time!” 

KIDS for the BAY is very grateful to all the environmentalist students, families and friends who participated in the 27th annual Wildcat Creek Cleanup, and to the City of San Pablo for organizing this event with us!

KIDS for the BAY