About 75 third graders from Rosa Parks Environmental Science Magnet School in Berkeley took a walk to the Berkeley Marina on a cloudy day to pick up trash. The first of three Shoreline Clean-up trips this year, the field trip gave the students some valuable lessons about the impact that trash has on the San Francisco Bay, the importance of working together as a team, and the empowering feeling they got after doing something so positive for their community. Here are some of their stories and perspectives:
“After we had picked up trash for 15-20 minutes I realized we had picked up 30 bottle caps. “Isn’t that sad that we picked up so many bottle caps,” I asked my teammate Kayta. “Yes but it feels good to help the environment,” she said.
We weren’t even at the shoreline yet – we were still walking there – but I couldn’t wait. A shoreline clean-up is something that you do for the world. You pick up trash from beaches, saving animals.
“Yuck” I sneezed as I smelled cigarettes from my nose. “Yuck two,” Jonah joked.
At the shoreline I ran to a secret place and found a red and round thing. “What’s that?” I asked with a puzzled look on my face. “Is that a ball?” We asked a grown-up. “That’s an oil bottle!” said the grown up.”
I felt really proud of myself for saving animals.
“I felt kind of badly for the birds living at the Shoreline because they live in such a polluted place!!” – Ben
“Yay,” I said as I picked up trash. “I am saving the environment.” Our class cleaned up so much trash that day! I hope we do it again! And we saw a pelican eat a lot of fish! It was amazing.” — Kaleb
I enjoyed cleaning you. I feel sorry for you, just saying. You must feel really sad because your water has trash in it, which chokes underwater animal like seals and fish, plus your water is dirty so nobody wants to swim in it, and you smell like rotten eggs – p.u. – that smells really bad!” – your cleaner, Louisa
“I am so angry,” I said, picking up another bottle cap. “That makes 31.”