Armies of volunteers gathered to pick up trash from city creeks and waterways during the 22nd Annual Basura Bash held Saturday morning. Local residents, community groups and organizations collected trash, from 8 a.m to noon, at 20 different locations that connect to San Antonio’s watershed.
Event volunteers, organized under the San Antonio River Foundation‘s nonprofit umbrella, reported that more 45 tons of trash were collected in 2015. Basura Bash has expanded in recent years to include a larger city area and dozens of community groups and organizations.
Nearly 50 San Antonio River Authority employees and volunteers met Saturday morning at the Six Mile Creek to clean up an area that, at one point, runs directly into the San Antonio River.
“This is an opportunity for our employees and volunteers to work together,”said Yviand Serbones, SARA community relations coordinator.
This marks the second year that SARA employees have volunteered to clean this particular creek, but there is litter, needles and even old shopping carts that make their way into San Antonio watershed each year. For future volunteer opportunities with SARA apply here.
“(SARA) is on a mission and actually doing something about it,” said Michelle Garza, SARA employee.
Nearly 80 volunteers– local students, Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops, and families– met at River Road at 8:30 a.m. Larry Clark, the location’s tributary leader, instructed volunteers to pick up the trash from Avenue A to the water bend.
The area attracts litter from visitors at the nearby park and the zoo, and when it rains, the trash ends up in the nearby creek.
“There’s a lot of history here,” Clark told volunteers. “Native Americans lived here thousands of years ago, and it’s still a beautiful and special place for the city. It deserves to be cared for.”
There were many first-time volunteers at the Basura Bash, including a dozen members of Girl Scout Troop #46. The girls were excited to earn new badges and explore the area with the troop’s leaders and parent volunteers. Several trash bags were filled with small pieces of plastic, cigarette butts, beer bottles and stray golf balls found along the roads and creek.
“This is pretty fun,” said Madison Aleman, age 8, as she bent down to pick up another plastic fragment. Her father, Edward, was at her side to help and oversee the group’s safety. “We’ve never done this before, but it’s pretty amazing. We’ll definitely being doing this next year.”