SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department is joining the tens of thousands of volunteers to take part in California Coastal Cleanup Day, the largest volunteer event in California, this Saturday. SF Rec & Park will be hosting three cleanup work projects — at Heron’s Head Park, North Lake, and the Murphy’s Windmill in Golden Gate Park. The event will be coordinated by the Department’s Volunteer Services Program which will be leading 100 volunteers to clean up the areas.
“We’re so pleased to again be a part of this effort to support the environment and keep our coasts clean,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Park General Manager. “After our volunteers collect the trash and recyclables, we will weigh it and submit the data to the California Coastal Commission to aid their efforts in proposing and implementing new policies that will reduce waste across our coast.”
In last year’s statewide effort, some 67,000 volunteers collected nearly 1.2 million pounds of litter and removed them from California’s beaches, lakes, and waterways. At just Golden Gate Park’s North Lake last year, volunteers collected 150 lbs. of trash that included cigarette butts, food packaging, a toilet plunger, a crutch, and a bible. Coastal Cleanup Day is about much more than picking up trash. It’s a chance for Californians to join people around the world in expressing their respect for our oceans and waterways. It’s an opportunity for the community to demonstrate its desire for clean water and healthy marine life. And it’s a moment to share with one’s neighbors, family, and friends — coming together to accomplish something vital and worthy on behalf of the environment.
Funded by the 2008 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond, the San Francisco Port in partnership with SF Rec & Park completed various improvements to Heron’s Head Park, including an off-leash dog area, a dedicated bike lane leading up to the park, and other park amenities such as bicycle racks and picnic tables.
Before Golden Gate Park’s builders transformed the landscape, there were 14 marshy lakes nestled within the sand dunes that covered this part of San Francisco. Now there are five original lakes that remain, including North Lake, which is part of the Chain of Lakes at the western end of the park, and the largest in the chain. North Lake is known for attracting water birds, many of which take shelter on its small islands. The lake is home to egrets, great blue herons, belted kingfishers, and many types of ducks.
Murphy’s Windmill, the third site of the coastal cleanup, is at the western edge of Golden Gate Park and an iconic gateway to Ocean Beach. Built in the early 1900’s, the Dutch windmill was used to pump groundwater for irrigating the park’s lawns and gardens, helping to transform the dunes that once covered the area. The Windmill is now at the beginning of a design process to make internal improvements.
For more information on our volunteer program, visit: https://sfrecpark.org/support-your-parks/volunteer-program/