The City of Chula Vista in partnership with South Bay Sustainable Communities Network (SBSCN) held it’s 18th annual Beautify Chula Vista community clean up Oct. 23. Volunteers aided with graffiti removal, landscaping and removing tons of litter from local streets, canyons and parks.
Volunteers had the opportunity to participate in beautification activities at Marina View Park located at 900 Marina Parkway, or Discovery Park, located at 700 Buena Vista Way. A total of 146 people volunteered with beautification efforts at Marina View Park.
The event was hosted by Mayor Mary Casillas Salas, the Chula Vista City Council and the SBSCN. Members of San Diego Gas and Electric and Republic Services volunteered in the city’s beautification efforts.
The SBSCN works alongside many high school groups in the Sweetwater Union High School District to provide volunteering opportunities for students. A school bus transported some students to the event.
“No matter what, you can always rely on your local schools… It also provides job and volunteer experience for youth who didn't get the opportunity to volunteer in middle school and in elementary school. Because of the pandemic, we need to fix this community and all communities around. Students seemed pretty happy doing it. It feels good being outside to play around with the dirt and to pick up some trash” said commanding officer of Mar Vista High School Navy Junior Officers Training Corps program, Logan Robert Elkins.
According to Tina Matthias, founder and executive director of SBSCN, these events can bring in approximately two to three thousand pounds of debris. In 2019, volunteers helped remove an estimated 15,000 lbs of trash. Beautify Chula Vista has reached dozens of focus areas throughout the city.
Matthias reported clearing over 100,000 pounds of debris from Chula Vista in the five years leading to her retirement from the Living Coast Discovery Center. Plastics are the highest recorded waste because it’s in every aspect of life according to Matthias. She continues to conduct monthly cleanups through SBSCN.
“All that trash in our gutters and storm drains does not get cleaned up unless we do something about it. It gets washed down and there is no filtration. There is no big net out there catching all of the debris running out into the water, so it is very important that we keep our watershed and our communities clean” Matthias said.
South Bay Sustainable Communities Network plans to hold their next monthly clean up on Dec. 4 near Terra Bella Nursery off Industrial Blvd. and Main Street to cover the southern Chula Vista area.