During this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of everyone is of paramount importance to The Lake Merritt Institute.
Access to the U-clean-it boxes around Lake Merritt has been restricted to properly trained volunteers only. This includes the “A-team”, of course.
A-team members can train other volunteers at the Tuesday clean-ups. Training is also available from LMI staff upon request. Please call the office to make an appointment at 510-238-2290.
We pick up trash. We remove it from the water, not the land, using nets to scoop it out and toss it into trash bags. Five days a week when school is in session and four days a week at other times, we clean the shoreline of Lake Merritt. About 1,000 to 5,000 pounds are removed every month.
Clean Up Days
Volunteer clean ups are sponsored every Tuesday at 10 am & every Saturday at 10 am. On Thursdays, the sixth grade from St. Paul’s Episcopal School cleans up and on Mondays and Fridays we sponsor trash removal by the Unity Council.
To aid in removing trash from the water, we have established four “U-Clean-It” stations around Lake Merritt. Each box contains nets, two trash barrels, trash bags, gloves, instructions and sign in sheet. They are located near:
- The Grand Avenue & Harrison St. intersection.
- Between the Lake Chalet restaurant and the Cameron Stanford House along Lakeside Drive.
- At the E. 18th St. and Lakeshore Drive dock.
- By the columns structure, at the end of the Lake between Grand Avenue and Lakeshore Drive
These groups of friends volunteer on a regular basis. The Lake would not be as clean as it is without them.
- St. Paul’s Episcopal School 6th Grade: Attending weekly during the school year, this exuberant class has their own boots and gloves. In addition to thousands of pounds of trash, they have hauled out a 20 foot long pipe, a sofa chair, a blanket, cell phones and even a $1 bill. Their community service is part of an academic study of watersheds, for which their teacher received an EPA Environmental Award.
- Piedmont High Key Club: Numerous members of the Key Club can be found cleaning the Lake on any given Saturday and Kevin, Thomas, Frank, Stephen, and Michael even come on weekdays if school is out. Over a period of several months, they recorded, narrated, created a sound track and produced a two part video “Urban Runoff at Lake Merritt”. This dedicated group has also donated generously to the Institute and shows up on Earth Day and Creek to Bay Day too.
- Hands On Bay Area: Once a month, every month, this organized group brings in volunteers from across the Bay Area. Their continued dedication makes a difference and we look forward to continuing to work with them.
- Laney College Biology Students: Community Service brings both extra points and fun for these students who study along the inlet – outlet channel across from the Lake. Most of these young scholars attend our Saturday at 10 am events.
Critical Partner Organizations
If your group has volunteered and we have not listed you, please contact us.