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Photo of debris

Parking officer Derek Opdyke, right, was part of the crew clearing debris. Photos: Linda Robinson

December 11, 2006

Cleanup crew clears out campsites, debris near Long Marine Laboratory

By Louise Donahue

Sparked by a neighbor’s complaint, a UCSC crew descended on camp sites and trash heaps near Long Marine Laboratory for a daylong cleanup recently.

Photo of front-end loader

Grounds Services contributed a front-end loader, above, to the cleanup effort. Below, Derek Opdyke gets ready to haul away two television sets almost hidden by the brush.
Photo: Officer with TV sets

With the help of a front-end loader, the almost 20-member crew hauled out old appliances, TV sets, tents, mattresses, broken furniture, and “disgusting stuff” such as human waste and used hypodermic needles, said crew member Mike Kimura, a UCSC police officer. "Everyone was wearing gloves."

More than 3,000 pounds of trash was loaded into a 20-yard "roll off box" on the back of a truck and taken to the landfill.

The cooperative effort drew together about a dozen Grounds Services workers, supplemented by UCSC police. LML assistant director Steve Davenport and LML student worker Erik Oberg helped during the morning.

Police officers swept through the area before the cleanup began to see if any campers remained, and pitched in through the day because they wanted to be on hand in case any problems developed. "Who knows who could come back and be upset about it?" said Kimura. "We wanted to be sure it was safe."

Kimura said the police inspected the site closely before the cleanup. "We knew the extent of the mess," said Kimura, who received a commendation for his work in organizing the effort. Joining Kimura from the Police Department were Linda Robinson and parking officer Derek Opdyke.

The front-end loader was useful in some situations, said Dave Roe of Grounds Services, but other areas had to be cleaned up by hand because much of the area is a wetland not suited to heavy equipment. Ron Dillehay, the heavy equipment supervisor for Grounds Services, was in charge of heavy equipment at the site, and joined police on the initial walk-through before the cleanup began in earnest. In addition to Roe and Dillehay, Grounds staff members Frank Locatelli, Jose Anaya, David Ford, Mitch Smith, Jamie Bazner, Dorothy Healy, Flossie Cox, John Palochak, Robert Wilson, and student Gary Molano participated in the cleanup.

Targeting the area from the coast to the railroad tracks, and from farm fields to the mobile home park, the crew had its hands full. "It was a long day, but successful," Roe said.

The operation impressed Charles John Mallinckrodt Sr., whose report of debris triggered the cleanup. "I was amazed by the scope of the effort," wrote Mallinckrodt, who is also known as Chaz Mallin, in a letter to UCSC. "I was truly shocked to see how extensive the debris area was." Mallinckrodt said he has helped with various area cleanups in recent years. "This effort has had a very positive effect on the neighborhood, as well as restoring the local nature ecosystem."


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