Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity (Pike) pitched in to help the environment Sunday morning by cleaning garbage from Santa Barbara’s Arroyo Burro Beach.
Nearly 30 fraternity members picked up 10 to 20 pounds of bottles, cans, cardboard and other trash from the beach from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event was sponsored by the Isla Vista chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, which provided the fraternity with gloves and garbage bags. Arroyo Burro County Beach Park, also known as Hendry’s Beach, is located near the eastern end of Hope Ranch and is a popular spot for surfers and local residents.
Philip Swanger, junior political science major and Pike philanthropy chair, said the beach was chosen because of its popularity as a recreational area.
“This is one of our annual community service events,” Swanger said. “Last fall we cleaned Haskell’s Beach. Surfrider turned us on to Arroyo Burro because of the number of people that go there and the volume of trash they make. The place is packed with tons of people and tons of dogs.”
Pike president and junior business economics major Casey Wuestefeld said he was glad to be able to help with the cleanup efforts.
“It’s always nice to give back to the community,” Wuestefeld said. “We all use the beaches, so it wasn’t really a chore. It’s a way to be productive and have fun at the same time.”
Swanger said the fraternity picked Arroyo Burro instead of a beach closer to campus because local regulations prevented it from cleaning any of the beaches in I.V.
“The beaches here actually pay people to clean them,” Swanger said. “We just wanted to do a community service event.”
Kevin Colombo, a third-year communication major and vice president of Pike, said the cleanup gives the fraternity an opportunity to reach out to other community service groups in the area.
“Going to different beaches and helping out all over the place builds relations with local organizations in the community,” Colombo said.
The cleanup was Pike’s second community service event of the quarter and its third of the year. Earlier this quarter, the fraternity organized the Fight Night fund-raiser, and its members also volunteered at a basketball tournament for the Special Olympics.
Swanger said Pike was the recipient of this year’s Greek Award for Community Service through the Office of Greek Life.