Arroyo Burro Beach
Sunday, May 14th
Each month it’s great to see volunteers of all ages show up at Arroyo Burro Beach with buckets, baskets, gloves, and lots of enthusiasm. They spend an hour or two picking up trash along the shoreline, making their personal contribution to protecting our environment and the beautiful Santa Barbara waterfront.
Over the years these volunteers have picked up thousands of pieces of trash, much of it plastic, proving that small actions on land can keep our beaches clean and help marine life that can choke on plastic debris.
There is no age limit for volunteering and often children as young as four come with their families to participate. High school students also come every month and receive community service hours for their time. Everyone is asked to keep track of what they find, and in this way they are adding to the data collection that is used to effectively educate the community.
Explore Ecology began in 1990 as the Art from Scrap program. It was a volunteer effort by a group of Santa Barbara parents concerned about the lack of funding for art programs in the schools. At the same time, the State of California passed a bill to reduce, reuse, and recycle trash to the maximum extent possible. With community support, including the donation of warehouse space from the City of Santa Barbara and an umbrella agreement with the Santa Barbara County Education Office, Art from Scrap brought art and reuse together!!
The idea was to collect scrap materials that would then be used to combine environmental education with artistic expression. Those who participated did become aware of the connection between themselves and their environment through the hands-on science education and art they created.
Today, Explore Ecology is the culmination of years of evolution of the successful Art from Scrap program.