A very COVID Great Islands Clean Up

This year, the COVID pandemic shifted the Spring GICU to a do-it-yourself month-long effort.

Submitted by Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District

Lopez Island has participated in the inter-island event called the Great Islands Clean-Up for the last five years which helps keep our roads and beaches clean of litter. This year, the COVID pandemic shifted the Spring GICU to a do-it-yourself month-long effort. Thank you to the many dedicated households and volunteers who participated this year and in years past!

For this Fall’s GICU we are inviting everyone to come out and be an Islands Superhero for a whole week! All the island partners agreed on a focused week-long household/individual effort beginning Monday, Sept. 28 and running through Oct. 4. In keeping with San Juan County’s Phase 2 guidelines, the event is masks required, socially distanced, and no congregating safe event, but still should provide a chance for people of all ages to get outside, get some exercise, and help keep our islands clean of litter.

Households and individuals are welcome to sign up for a road route by contacting Nikyta Palmisani at nikytap@lopezsolidwaste.org or a beach by contacting Skeet Townley at jtownley@blm.gov.

This year, all our islands are very aware of the many households who may be looking for meaningful and educational creative outlets. To that end, this year has a fun Salish Sea Themed Yard Art making component. Participants will be encouraged to come to pick up a wooden garden stake at LSWDD aka the Dump which will then be the structure to build a Salish Sea themed art sculpture out of the trash that was picked up. LSWDD is currently making an instructional video that will give households ideas for how to create a long-lasting and fun art creation of their own. Households are encouraged to conduct their litter removal first, then using what they find, create their yard art for display at LSWDD

Finished Yard Art is asked to be dropped off during business hours at LSWDD beginning Friday, Oct. 2, and no later than 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4. Visitors to LSWDD will then have the opportunity to watch an individual/household effort become a community effort through the amassing yard art display. In this way, Lopez comes together to make our island cleaner, more fun and creative!

To help connect our work here with the larger global issues, share with your kids and households this National Geographic four-minute film made on another island, Hawaii. It beautifully articulates the importance of beach clean-ups and features the kids who participated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKFV9IquMXA.

Please check the LSWDD website for the upcoming videos and details about this fall’s GICU event at www.lopezsolidwaste.org.