On Tuesday, March 15th, the great smelling volunteers from LUSH Cosmetics came out to the Los Padres again to clean up an illegal target shooting site and backcountry campsite. They were there to clean up a target shooting site off the now-closed Middle Sespe trail. The area is less than 15 miles from the Sespe Condor Sanctuary, less than a mile from the Sespe Wilderness, and right up against the designated Wild and Scenic Sespe Creek. The 28 volunteers hiked down the old roadbed and found, just beyond the roadblock that seals off the Middle Sespe Trail to motor vehicles, the trail shimmering with the sun’s reflection on thousands of shards of glass. The group picked up what they could along the trail as they hiked, but treaded on down the slope to the main site.
At the illegal campsite and target shooting area, trash, and debris was everywhere. Shocked but undeterred, the volunteers quickly set to work, picking up everything from tiny shards of glass to the remnants of a bedframe, from metal plates full of bullet holes to an old Guitar Hero guitar that had been shot to pieces. They worked among the trees with bark full of bullets and across the creek along the hillside where the shrubs hid pockets of discarded trash. They destroyed makeshift fire pits and dispersed the charcoal left behind from illegal campfires.
Despite the immensity of the dispersed trash, the small army of volunteers made short work of the cleanup – removing hundreds of pounds of trash in just a few hours. After a short lunch break, however, they decided they weren’t quite ready to be done. Rather than calling it a day, they turned their efforts to the trail they walked in on, and painstakingly picked up each and every small shard of glass that they could all while hauling their ever-expanding trash bags up the steep hill.
In total, the LUSH volunteers hauled out over 400 pounds of trash from the Middle Sespe site. As we loaded up the trash for proper disposal, the slightly disheveled – yet still great smelling – group talked about their experience and their lessons learned:
Every single piece of trash can have an impact – not only in the belly of an immature condor, or in the Sespe Creek – but by leaving your trash in an area, it encourages others to do the same, after all a place already has trash – how much harm can a little more do?
And most importantly: the only effort that is not enough is to make no effort at all. The 28 volunteers removed over 400 pounds of trash in just a few hours, one piece of trash and debris at a time. So long as people are willing to make an effort – collectively we can do so much good. The best thing you can do is leave an area better than you found it – by any amount that you can.
Thank you so very much to everyone that came out from the LUSH stores, you may have been woefully overdressed for the work set out for you, but you worked with a determination rivaled by few others. For more information about LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, visit their site at LushUSA.com