Update: Cleaning up Constellation Park with the Beach Creeps

March 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm | In How to help, West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news | 17 Comments

(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
1:22 PM: Those are a few of the two dozen-plus people who were already getting to work on the beach at Constellation Park about an hour ago, with more arriving for the Beach Creeps Bicycle Club Beach Cleanup. It’s not that the beach is full of typical trash – more insidious, to beach and sea life, lots of styrofoam pieces and particles have washed up, and getting some of it out from where it’s mixed up with rocks and driftwood is a key objective. Still time for you to join, since they’re there till 3 – just check in at 63rd/Beach Drive (by the octopus sculpture that’s embedded in the sidewalk). Full report later.

4:54 PM: A closer look at the cleanup as it unfolded, from WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams:

(This photo and all others below are by Nick Adams for WSB)
As they arrived, volunteers were given what they needed, and sent off to work on the rocky beach:

Rachelle Kauffman worked under and between the driftwood:

Sticks made the best tools, as 7-year-old Cooper Guidry also found out:

The cleanup volunteers got some big pieces of debris of the beach, like the one Kris Blazina is hauling away:

Picking up the little things – like bits of styrofoam – mattered a lot too, though:

That’s part of what Scott Pietz was up to:

Background, dark sweatshirt, that’s the club’s publicity chair Michael D. Adams helping scour the shore:

This area of West Seattle shoreline is especially precious because it holds a marine-reserve area.

The cleanup was organized in the span of just a week:

Over the week, it went from a casual idea among friends, to an official capital-e Event that even had to get on the Parks Department radar, for a permit, and also trash pickup.

SUNDAY NOTE: In a just-posted comment, Willis from the Beach Creeps reports more than 40 people signed in as part of the event, and the group is thinking about sequels.

17 Comments

  1. On behalf of those who couldn’t make it, thanks so much to the volunteers for your work.

    Comment by Paul — 3:11 pm March 2, 2013 #

  2. It was great to see everyone come out to help clean up a park in need! Also big thanks to the businesses that made the day possible Christos, Pioneer, Chupacabra, Celtic swell, Alki mail, and Meanders! Thanks as well to the Seal sitters and West Seattle bike connection for the help and good conversations…

    Comment by Veteran wisdom — 3:55 pm March 2, 2013 #

  3. As a beach naturalist, I think I can speak for the animals who call that beach their home by saying “THANK YOU!”

    Comment by Bill — 6:02 pm March 2, 2013 #

  4. WSB,
    Correct me if I’m incorrect but near the end of the story— “that even had to get on the Parks Department radar, for a permit, and also trash pickup.” Does this mean anyone who wants to walk the beach and remove garbage and other junk must obtain a permit? Or was it because of the amount of refuse expected to be removed, and the subsequent Parks Department personnel needed for pick-up of said debris, that a permit was required?
    Thanks for doing this dirty job, you cleaner-uppers.

    Comment by WestSide45 — 6:18 pm March 2, 2013 #

  5. As explained in the ongoing discussion on the Facebook event page, apparently the Parks Department felt it was going to be a big enough event that it needed a permit and merited immediate pickup. The organizers could perhaps better explain, but that’s what they wrote around midweek. NOT that anybody who wants to go pick up some trash will need a permit.

    Comment by WSB — 6:24 pm March 2, 2013 #

  6. I love that walk. And especially love that people were inspired to action for the benefit of all. Thank you, Beach Creeps Bicycle Club. Well done!

    Comment by shed22 — 7:36 pm March 2, 2013 #

  7. Very nice photo-journalism, WSB. It’s great to see familiar sights comprehensively covered.

    Comment by shed22 — 7:44 pm March 2, 2013 #

  8. Great event! I think nearly ALL of us BIKED there. Yes…people on BIKES doing great things for the community.
    .
    When’s the next community event? What about one involving cars? ;-)

    Comment by Jeff — 7:47 pm March 2, 2013 #

  9. speaking of permits. I wanted to try and clean up/ weed the overgrown undeveloped right of way (where undeveloped 19th ave meets sw dawson). I tried to contact SDOT since it was their overgrown property. they wanted me to have a permit ($2,000) to clean up their property. that was a few years ago. I gave up. it’s still overgrown.

    thanks for all the hard work cleaning up that area !!!

    Comment by sam-c — 8:29 pm March 2, 2013 #

  10. The Parks departments’ permit page says that a permit is needed if an event is publically advertised or a large number of people are expected.
    .
    The page also describes fees – I hope the city was able to waive the normal permit fees for this event?
    .
    If the city waived the fees, kudos! If the law required the same fees as for other group park events, we should do a donation drive to cover the fees.

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 9:29 pm March 2, 2013 #

  11. Really nice idea Lura. Let us know if and when…

    The Creeps and friends absolutely deserve that support. Lots of community and critter love down there today. It was beautiful.

    Comment by Westseattledood — 10:45 pm March 2, 2013 #

  12. Awesome work, Alki Beach Creeps and friends! So great to see how much people care about our beaches. Thanks to Seattle Parks crew, Puget Soundkeepers, Chrystos, Alki Mail, Pioneer Coffee, Celtic Swell, too, and all the people giving encouragement to this crew.

    Comment by Don Brubeck — 8:46 am March 3, 2013 #

  13. I beleive we didnt have to pay any fees for the permit(s). It was an amazing time meeting everyone and we got over 40 signatures! Everyone involved asked us when we will do this again. The Beach Creeps are thinking of making it a fun thing to do every month. Ill tell you, it was very gratifying picking up all that mess, and seeing the neighbors thanking us and watching the community wanting to be a part if the event. It was great, and West Seattle continued to show its beautiful support yesterday. Thank you to all!

    Willis
    Co President
    BEACH CREEPS

    Comment by Willis — 1:39 pm March 3, 2013 #

  14. We weren’t required to pay for any permits. The city, especially Thavy Pen from the Parks Dept. was nothing but helpful in helping us reach our goals.

    Michael
    D.O.M
    Beach Creeps

    P.S. Our next official event will be May 19th: Alki’s Car-Free Day. Details soon.

    Comment by Mayor Michael — 2:35 pm March 3, 2013 #

  15. What an amazing event. I’m very proud of everyone who helped/sponsored/cheered us on. That beach is my favorite spot in West Seattle. It was all about the sea-life and having a little fun. Another event(not another beach cleanup) is planned for Alki Car-Free Day. It’s going to be great. Thanks again everyone, I’m sure a little or large sea-creature would say thank you as well.
    Guy Olson
    Co-President
    Alki Beach Creeps Bicycle Club.

    Comment by Guy — 7:04 pm March 3, 2013 #

  16. We live in such a beautiful place. Thank you all for what you do. Thavy is a family friend and she’s pretty amazing too. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Rara — 11:21 pm March 3, 2013 #

  17. This is my favorite part of West Seattle, I was there yesterday and it looks fantastic!! Thank so much for the hard work!

    Comment by Rf — 7:51 am March 4, 2013 #

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