Chula Vista’s two largest canyons are due for a cleanup.
The mile-long Del Rey and Rice canyons are just two of the recent expansion cleanup sites for I Love A Clean San Diego’s Adopt-A-Canyon program.
Residents or volunteer groups can stake claim to one of these two canyons by vowing to clean it up at least three times a year, said Natalie Roberts, director of community events for I Love A Clean San Diego.
School groups, she said, need a once-a-year cleaning commitment.
By adopting a canyon, a cleanup group will have their name displayed outside the canyon.
I Love A Clean San Diego, a community enhancement non-profit organization, has held the Adopt-A-Canyon program the last five years, with the two Chula Vista canyons added to this year’s list as part of a partnership with the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation.
Adopt-A-Canyon is an offshoot of I Love A Clean San Diego’s Adopt-A-Beach program, where more than 10,0000 volunteers come together annually to pick up trash and debris from San Diego beaches.
Because Chula Vista and other inland cities don’t have beaches to clean, I Love A Clean San Diego started its Adopt-A-Canyon effort.
“The beaches are popular cleanup sites,” Roberts said. “With 10,000 volunteers at the beach annually, we wanted to spread cleanup sites to areas in need that were also getting volunteer support.”
Roberts said many Chula Vista residents volunteer to help clean up beaches that are outside of their community, with Adopt-A-Canyon, she said, residents have something to clean that is in their neighborhood.
“Volunteers can take a bit of ownership of their community,” she said.
Del Rey and Rice canyons are tributary canyons, meaning water flows through them and can push trash into the ocean.
Roberts said trash collected from canyons is different from that at beaches.
She said usually the trash that’s picked up at beaches is food wrappers, cigarette butts and grocery bags.
Canyons, she said, contain trash by residents who are illegally dumping items such as mattresses, couches and shopping carts.
Chula Vista Charitable Foundation board chair Michael Meacham encourages residents to volunteer in helping give back to the community.
“We encourage all Chula Vista residents and businesses to join the Chula Vista Charitable Foundation and expand that sense of philanthropy and commitment to community,” he said.
I Love A Clean San Diego is hosting a Feb. 1 kick-off event at Rice Canyon for potential volunteers to tryout and ask questions.
Those interested in joining the Adopt-A-Canyon program should register at www.adoptsd.org.