On April 21st, over 25 strapping volunteers, including friends and neighbours of Handley Rock, a posse from REI San Carlos, members of the local climbing community, babies and doggies, joined the Handley Rock Association (HRA) and the Bay Area Climber’s Coalition (BACC) for our first joint clean-up party at this historic crag.
After a delicious breakfast of fruit, donuts, and juices (generously provided by the HRA), the stewardship activities commenced, comprising 3 main projects:
- Brush and weed removal, to help the park meet CAL FIRE standards
- Glass and trash pickup
- Graffiti removal
The brush and weeding team removed fallen branches, pulled invasive weeds, and trimmed approximately half an acre of the park, yielding 20 bags (approximately 250 gallons) of large brush and weeds. Grass and other trimmings were left in place to protect the soil from erosion and encourage regrowth, so the total amount of trimmings handled by the team was substantially larger than what was collected and disposed of.
The glass and trash pickup team collected 10 bags of trash, totaling around 150 pounds. This may not sound like a huge amount, but when you consider that the vast bulk of this trash was in the form of small glass shards (the size of a quarter or smaller), you’ll start to appreciate just how much this team accomplished. In addition to the 16,238,597 (est.) shards of glass they collected, the trash team also found and removed:
- 60’ of broken, overgrown fence
- 1 broken chair
- 1 ancient rusty shovel
- A length of hose
- 2 crack pipes
Finally, the graffiti removal team did a wonderful job removing approximately 15 separate patches of graffiti totaling around 40 square feet, many of which were in difficult to access spots and therefore could only be removed using hand-cranked pressure washers (this method requires A LOT of hand scrubbing).
Following the event, 6 large pizzas were demolished in record time, and several of the volunteers enjoyed a glorious afternoon of top-roping in the now sparkly-clean park.
The BACC would first and foremost like to thank all of the volunteers who came out and joined us in cleaning up the park. The saying goes that “many hands make light work”, and this event was a powerful demonstration of that.
We’d also like to thank the HRA for allowing us to crash their annual clean-up party. Handley Rock is a unique resource for peninsula climbers, and allowing us to come into the park in force and help steward a resource we love is greatly appreciated. We also hope this can become the start of a lasting collaboration, as well as a fitting and ongoing tribute to Bill and Bev Oldfield, without whom this park wouldn’t exist.