Isla Vistans won’t have to swim though a sea of shattered pumpkins and beer bottles for much longer, thanks to a group of student volunteers scrounging the streets for trash.
Over 40 volunteers from various campus organizations participated in the Adopt-A-Block project, a clean-up effort hosted by the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District. Jessica Van Leuven, a coordinator for the project, said the volunteers collected 4,872 pounds of trash over three hours on Sunday alone.
Ryan Andersen, a fourth-year music composition major and co-chair of the Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board, said the trash needed to be gathered quickly before it was washed into the ocean. Andersen said EAB and other organizations participating in the effort feel responsible for protecting the environment.
“It’s the students that make the mess in I.V. after Halloween weekend, so it’s our responsibility to pick it up,” he said.
Volunteers will continue their clean up efforts today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, Van Leuven said. Members of EAB, the A.S. Community Affairs Board and club sports teams as well as several I.V. residents will cover the high-traffic blocks of Del Playa Drive, Sabado Tarde Road and Trigo Road.
“Isla Vista has the potential to be such a beautiful place,” Van Leuven said. “[Cleaning up] teaches volunteers to take pride in their community and take it with them wherever they go after I.V.”
Adopt-A-Block began in 1996 and is funded by UCSB, the Goleta West Sanitary District and the County of Santa Barbara. Van Leuven said the program also receives support from local Isla Vista businesses like Woodstock’s Pizza, Java Jones and Pita Pit.
Van Leuven said I.V. residents are appreciative of the volunteer work, and various members of the community have stopped to thank the cleanup team.