By Kaitlyn Perry, member of California High School Interact Club, USA
With the world’s attention shifting to environmental issues and how we can help save our planet, the Interact Club of California High School knew we wanted to be a part of the change. Our club brainstormed ideas on events such as planting trees and restoring gardens, but we remembered how fortunate we are to live in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are so many beaches here that need to be cleaned up and it was an opportunity that we could not pass up.
We settled on the Albany Bulb, a beautiful hiking park on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay that is filled with hidden treasures made by local artists from recycled materials. As our club prepared for our Saturday morning on the Bulb, we all got so excited. Beautifying our local landmarks while having fun? We couldn’t ask for more in an event.
Our Interactors and Rotarians piled into cars with trash, recycle, and compost bags ready to be used. Even the car ride over to the Bulb was a fantastic way for Interactors and Rotarians to bond. Once we were there, the Interactors created groups of six with one or two Rotarians and we split up on the rocky shores and started cleaning.
It was such an adventure! We were able to enjoy the light sea breeze and views of San Francisco while exploring and cleaning the massive peninsula. Interactors and Rotarians alike hiked up the rocks and went into caves that were full of recycled art of all different styles and colors. We were able to also watch the wildlife surrounding us, the amount of flowers that were growing there was incredible! My group’s favorite memory was cleaning the broken down shelters that reside within Albany Bulb. The one we cleaned up was a broken building with a small staircase leading up to a second story. There was a lot of trash in it, but after cleaning the whole area up we could see the art that surrounded the whole building, giving it a new look.
By the end of our clean-up we had collected a total of eight trash bags, six recycling bags, and two compost bags.
Once we finished cleaning up the Bulb, and eating lunch, we heading home and our club better understood the importance of cleaning up and helping save our environment. We had such an amazing time exploring the natural beauty of our own local marsh that we knew we needed to keep these habitats alive and well taken care of. As we have watched other Interact, Rotaract, and Rotary clubs understand how we felt through their own environmental projects, we are looking forward to seeing the changes that we have made for our Earth in our future.
The Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors have both unanimously approved adding a new area of focus: supporting the environment. Creating a distinct area of focus to support the environment will give Rotary members even more ways to bring about positive change in the world and increase our impact. Learn more.