This year over 500 people of all ages came out in force to help Brentwood's Parks and Recreation Department take part in the Marsh Creek Clean-Up, an event organized in conjunction with the statewide California Coastal Clean-Up, to help restore the riparian habitat.
"This is the biggest year yet," said Parks Landscape Supervisor Barry Margesson, who has helped lead the efforts of the city's clean-up since its origin six years ago.
Co-organizer and Parks Planning Technician Linda Stadlbauer couldn't agree more.
"It was fantastic," she said. "We had 330-plus people pre-registered, which saved the registration table from being bombarded."
Friends of Marsh Creek member Brian Curran, far left, helps arrange a pile of debris collected.
In all, Margesson said that over the four-hour 15-mile clean up, the participants hauled out enough garbage to fill a 20-yard dumpster, including a recliner, gate post with concrete still attached, water heater, Christmas tree, a few bikes, about five shopping carts and several large chunks of concrete.
Dorothy Rosenblum stood in amazement as she looked over the pile of garbage and debris being erected near the creek as she searched for items that she, her two kids - Wesley, 3, and Danielle, 9 - and their friend Julian Butalla, 8, had found or removed during their volunteer efforts.
Rosenblum let on that her crew was the finder of the infamous water heater, but added that they were told to leave it for the city crew to remove.
While first-timers to the event, Rosenblum said that the kids had fun collecting the garbage. "The kids said, 'It was like an Easter egg hunt with no eggs.'"
For clean-up veteran Brian Curran, of Friends of Marsh Creek, the event is about making a difference in the community.
"It seems to be the biggest volunteer thing here in Brentwood," Curran said. "I'm not sure what it is that gets people out here, but what ever it is, it is fantastic."
A sentiment echoed by many of the organizers.
As city workers heaped the remainder of the large green bulging bags of garbage onto the debris pile, volunteers retreated to the lunch line, then over to partake in the slew of activities taking place at the event, including a salmon run in the park's overflow basin.