Hello, I am Jaclyn Martinez
I attended the LA River clean up as a part of my English class assignments.
This LA River clean up trip was a total adventure for me. It was the complete opposite to what I was expecting. One thing I was not expecting were all the plants and trees that were growing in the middle of the river, but what was disturbing was to see all the garbage that was stuck in the trees because they had apparently adapted and grown with the trash. That made the trash extremely difficult to pick up. The item that was most difficult to obtain were the plastic bags because many of them were stuck in threes, they intertwined in the branches, others were half buried in the ground and could not always be pulled out because it would tear leaving the rest of the bag stuck somewhere in the ground. Going into the river to clean up was not the most pleasant adventure because of all the plants, bugs, air particles and heat however it was a mind bottling and learning experience. I admit that when LA decided to ban plastic bags at the supermarkets I was upset because it made grocery shopping less convenient but when I saw how many bags we had to pick up and how many were stuck and unsalvageable I then understood that maybe just buying canvas bags to replace plastic bags is not completely a bad idea. this experience was not all bad because it was interesting to see that deep in the la river can be lying the most bizare and unimaginable items. For example, my team and I found a complete Toy Story blanket what was amazing was that despite it being buried under a tree and tangled in the roots of the tree, the blanket was in tact; it was about 5 sq. feet. Along with the blanket we found half a car tire that was also buried under a tree, fortunately we were able to dig it out. Unlike the blanket and car tire, we found a cart that was unfortunately impossible to get out because of all the plants already growing in and around it, plus we did not find it safe because we did not know if any animals had already made it into their home. Although finding these cool items somewhere unexpected was productive my team and I were disappointed to not be able to find and opening into the river, no matter how much we walked down the river passed all the plants we could not find an opening into the river and after a while we gave up. At the end of the day my team and I felt accomplished and proud of what we had done. It was a new adventure for all of us and taught us numerous things. It was a good day.