Getting Rid of the Reed

Amidst the whirring  of brushcutters, tinkling of glass bottles and the bellow of tuba music from passing cars, volunteers at Southcrest Community Center yesterday tackled a creek full of giant reed in celebration of the international Coastal Cleanup Day. It was a feat of teamwork, strength and good spirit and we finished the day with a cleaner creek!

Volunteers from NASSCO and Las Hermanitas joined the fun to remove giant reed (Arundo donax) for Coastal Cleanup Day. Thanks everyone!
NASSCO and Las Hermanas volunteers teamed to remove giant reed (Arundo donax) for Coastal Cleanup Day. Thanks everyone!

It’s amazing how one tiny speck can turn into a weedy wall of impenetrable giant reed (Arundo donax). With each passing storm, Giant Reed sends little bits of its roots into the passing flow to establish dense new stands downstream. The new growth soon becomes so thick that one can’t even walk through the mess, and it later clogs storm drains and litters creekbeds.

It’s also spectacular what one tiny spark can turn into a warm glow of inspiration. More than 50 volunteers came out early on a Saturday morning to haul away Arundo and make room for lush trees like willows, oaks and sycamores. The success of the event was largely due to the amazing organizational capabilities, dedication and generosity of the employees and their families at General Dynamics – NASSCO. Also lending a hand were Las Hermanitas and various community members from the neighborhood. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez joined the team to yank out castor bean (Ricinus communis) before it even had a chance to set seed! And just up the road at Emerald Hills Park, over 300 volunteers gathered together to remove trash from our precious Chollas Creek.

To all of the volunteers who helped for Coastal Cleanup Day, any day and every day to keep our creeks and oceans clean…thank you! We’re proud to be part of a community that cares.

Happy Coastal Cleanup Day!