Wednesday, May 7, 2014

L.A River Clean Up

Hello my name is Ana Rosas and I am a student at CSULA. I am In professor Hernandez's English 101 class and on Saturday May 3rd my class and I along with other classes volunteered with FOLAR to clean up the L.A River.  At first when the L.A River was brought up in class my first thought was "What is there to clean in the L.A River, I rather go clean up a beach". The reason why I thought this was because I had never been to the L.A River. I was aware that we had a river in L.A, but I never thought there was actually something to clean up. I thought everything along the river was concrete. Its sad to say, but just like some people living in L.A , I didn't see the L.A River as a place where nature could be experienced. At first to be honest I didn't want to attend the clean up because I didn't know what to expect. The morning of the clean up it was really hard for me to get out of bed because it was a Saturday and that is usually the only day i get to sleep in, but either way i got up and made my way to Steel Head Park. My classmate Jennifer Romero and I arrived at the place around 8:40 a.m, but we were not excited to clean because it was really hot. When we were asked to get in groups we didn't know who to group with because we really didn't know anyone there, but we eventually found two other girls and a guy that joined our group. When we began cleaning I was surprised to see the amount of nature we are surrounded by , but yet we are not really aware of. My group and I collected all sorts of trash, but what we found the most of was plastic bags. There was a lot of plastic bags stuck in between the branches of the trees and although we tried to pull them out it was hard because they were really stuck. I was surprised to see the amount of trash that was collected by all the volunteers. A group of students even found a shopping cart, which surprised me. Cleaning the L.A River along with other volunteers was a great experience and if I would be asked to volunteer again I would definitely do it again. The feeling I got afterwards,knowing I had helped make  a little bit of change is priceless. After I left i felt good with myself. I felt a great satisfaction. I wish more people got involved and volunteered to try to make a change, because after all it is our responsibility to clean because we are the ones creating all the trash.We should take into consideration the harm we are causing to nature when we do not throw our trash away and just dump it in the streets. This activity changed my perspective on how I see L.A. Before volunteering I thought of L.A as a city full of building and factories polluting our air. I only saw the bad things about L.A, but I really never thought L.A had this wonderful place to where we could experience nature. Over all this activity was great. I do not regret having to wake up early on a Saturday morning to go help clean. I know it requires of more people to make a change and what we contributed with on Saturday might not seem like a big deal, but something is better than nothing. Now that we all saw the damage we cause nature, it is up to us to make a change and decide what actions we are going to take to actually make a change in our environment.

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