Tons of Trash Leads to Tons of Fun

Press release provided by Eel River Cleanup Project:


For those that have yet to hear about the new movement spreading across Humboldt County get a load of this..yes, pun intended!. The Eel River Clean-up Project was founded just a few months ago, yet the momentum rippling through the community has been astounding. Discovering the ugly truth of tons of trash along the Eel River, and the need for action, they went to work. Sending out a call for help to the community, the project was on the move.  With the help of social media and local radio stations, KHUM and KMUD covering the call for action, as well as,in response to a video of images of the horrible trash issue, the nature loving people started responding.

The Eel River Clean-up Project was founded with the motto: Power in numbers and the music, and the movement revealed just that at their First Annual Fundraiser, held on March 28th.  The core crew of activists for the movement would like to give their endless appreciation from their HumLove hearts to all of the HumLove hearts, who donated, performed, volunteered and made the First Annual ERCP Fundraiser a huge success. The (FUN)draiser brought in close to $18,000 dollars, and they all had a great time doing it!

Saturday, March, 28th was beautiful spring day in Southern Humboldt. The experience of the community gathering for a movement to clean-up the land and rivers was one of inspiration and celebration.  The Eel River Clean-up Project had their first annual fundraiser, just two and a half months after their founding date, January 17th, 2015.

The talent in the area came from North, South, East and West of our Humboldt home, to share their music, arts, food, businesses, and services all in honor of the land and the river. Humboldt based companies, and individuals donated to the raffle full of local services and products, photography and paintings,which took place throughout the day and night of what turned out to be a full on Humfest. With many sporting their new ERCP/PacOut Green Team t-shirts displaying the HumLove design that symbolizes an extended community that are stewards to this beautiful land within the emerald triangle, and the love that runs through it, as the rivers do. (T-Shirts are available now for purchase, as they gear up for ordering more merchandise to raise awareness, and more funds towards the project. To purchase contact by leaving a message on the Eel River Clean-up Party Facebook Group)




The Mateel Community Center offered up their beautiful venue indoor and out, with a crew of their own volunteers, Sound Engineers, Employees and board members, they were Wonderful hosts and catered to the cause day and night. Dinner was catered with love and dedication by Moses Danzer of BBQ 2 You, and a very skilled kitchen crew including Alyson Mitchell, David Durr, George Tannehill and many other culinary veterans and dedicated volunteers working from morning to night for the cause.  The food was delicious, and service came with smiles!


The day and night was full of quality music on two stages, from blues, to hip-hop, house to reggae the performances were top of their game, and the high vibes carried throughout the land. The ERCP core crew is blown away from the support and heart poured into the movement.  Humboldt is blessed with so many wonderful musicians, and the ERCP is especially honored to have them all join the cause for a cleaner and healthier Humboldt.


The ERCP would like to publicly acknowledge and honor all of the participants and give their heartfelt gratitude to the musicians and performers that brought the Mateel to life and got down for the cause!   Eli Fowler aka Little Kidd Lost,  who did an outstanding job stage managing and emceeing the indoor stage. NPK!  an all time favorite Southern Humboldt based band. for rockin the house. Justin Schwartzman for doing such an amazing job coordinating all four of his bands, Mystic Lion, Ju Drum, Asha Nan, Silver Hammer (the Beatles’ Tribute band).  Jesse Jonathon and the entire SambA More crew! Eyes Anonymous bringing the top of the charts of the 80’s,  break dancing skills of Rex Atienza and the Humboldt Rockers, Cold Blue Water, Berel Alexander, Ishi Dube, Little Kidd Lost!  Ray Moreta for bringing the backline, DJ Marley for emceeing the outdoor stage and holding down the vibes with good beats between bands, DJ Just One, DJ GBOB, Juce Crew,The Funnicators, The Overstimulators, and Jsun Paul and The Middle Agent of Deep Groove Society, Stevie Culture! Thank you to Adam for running sound along with Justin Miller of SHC, as well as, for helping to set up the outdoor stage and GBob,DJ Marley, and Just One of SHC for supplying the outdoor sound equipment.  The coordinating expertise of  Alegria Owner/Operator of Gala Events and Weddings donated their skills and took on the job of stage coordinating and managing of both stages. Rob Seifert and Jim Fulton for dominating the sound controls.


The re-established South Fork High School’s Earth Club along with Southern Humboldt Businesses such as Organic Grace, Flavors, The Benbow Inn, Tiger Lily Books, helped with presale raffle tickets, and over .businesses throughout the county donating raffle prizes. Southern Humboldt activists Holly Carter, Tara Myers, and Tiffany Smith, and Elena Worley who worked behind the scenes, and in the trenches regularly getting the trash off of the land. Along with Brian St.Clair of the Mateel who has been contributing his cleanup efforts for years and proudly serves with the rest of the stewards as a core member of the ERCP.  Christopher Anderson owner and operator of Tophs House, pours his heart into the movement getting the trash off of the land with Mike Miller’s biweekly clean-up in Redway/Garberville, and the Alderpoint site which is an illegal dumpsite getting cleared of generations of trash that threatens Carter Creek. Many days, and hours, sweat, laughter and tears are shed in order to be the action based solution and example for our youth, and community members that need the reminders of what it looks like to “Be the Change.”


A huge thanks to Mike and Cathy Miller, setting an example for many years by tirelessly bringing thousands of pounds off the land, being huge supporters for the ERCP fundraiser, and the dedication to the newly founded, Eel River Clean-up Project.  Mike’s regular bi-weekly clean-ups, and the need for more hands and hearts to get a head of the trash problem has proven to be effective and the ERCP would not be successful without the hard work and time dedicated regularly, as Mike has been graciously doing for 3.5 years.  All the while, establishing relationships with the homeless community to encourage them to leave no trace and spread that message to newcomers.


The Pacific Outfitters non-profit, known as the PacOut Green Team, came on board to show their support on day one of the ERCP launching the Facebook group back in January. And within two weeks of the grassroots movement the PacOut Green Team became the fiscal sponsor and brought the founder of the ERCP, Amy Machado, on to their board as the Southern Humboldt Coordinator. With 900 members the Facebook group : Eel River Clean-up Project: Power in Numbers and the People is the hub for the movement, and a space to share about clean-up efforts,regular scheduled Clean-up events, and a way to stay connected to the like minded community members that make up the movement. You can join and share in the efforts, and get updates and information regarding clean-up dates and times by joining here:


In acknowledgment of the ongoing cleanup efforts at an illegal dumpsite located in Alderpoint at Carter Creek, which is a tributary to the Eel River, the California Coastal Commission presented the Eel River Clean-up Project an honoring certification for their Adopt-a-Beach program. This symbolizes the dedication to get this massive dump site cleaned and restored.  Tons of trash has been pulled out from the 25ft cliff and hauled away, and they are currently developing relationship with restoration entities to ensure that this area and the water is free from pollution, and given native life back from the decades of dumping that has devastated the area.. Multiple vehicles have been brought up, as well as, refrigerators, dishwashers, toilets, hospital beds…..and yes even kitchen sinks. This would not be possible if it weren’t for group efforts from several businesses, non-profits and individuals such as, Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue, Shanon Taliaferro of You Can Dig It Construction, and his wife Casandra Talioferro for single handedly bringing in $800.00 on site by educating the Alderpoint locals passing by.  Jonathan Gilbert of Treeworks Arborists offering his trailer, ATV, and numerous days in the trenches, Leeana Schultz of Alderpoint General Store for calling attention to the area, raising hundreds of dollars at the store for the cleanup, and taking initiative to begin the work, and continuing to be dedicated to the cleanup efforts.  John Jennings and the Mateel Community Center for their continued support, and offering of supplies and multiple sites, and Kym Kemp of the Redheaded Blackbelt for energizing a crew and covering the cleanup efforts regularly, the dedicated locals in the community out there even when the repelling  and other necessary equipment isn’t, spending their Sunday bagging up the trash for hauling up when the equipment is there. Now that if that isn’t a prime example of loving the land, we don’t know what is!


Even More Business Participants and Donors:


Loren Meltzer and Fatbol Clothing Company donated the T-shirt design and ERCP Logo designs. The fabulous local business, Forget-Me-Not Photo Booth snapping shots at the fundrasier with their fun filled, memory making machine.Scrap Humboldt was crafting it up using recycled materials, The Humboldt Beekeepers Association was educating the community on their new non-profit and buzzing about ways that keep our bees thriving. Erin Kellars deliciously jarred passion fruit creme brulee was devoured by many. CakeStacey baked up the fresh cookies to couple with Vixen, Kitchens spiced just right, Chai and I Gelato. Humboldt Mades own Victoria England owner and operator of Tulip Perfumes offered up her naturally crafted body care products and perfumes, Paintings and Prints, were donated from Carmel Reyes and she lite up the upper deck with her beautiful display of black light, dimensioned,large-scale paintings featuring the elements and the animals, David Jernigan of D Jernigan Photography offered two beautiful framed Humboldt Nature Photo’s, along with Talia Rose displaying her the stunning captures of  Humboldt wildlife on canvas. Roman Villagrana creating live art of the Mateel in action. Other businesses who donated are KMUD, Persimmons, Lost Food, Kiwanis, Royal Gold Soil, Mae Fashion and Design, Blue Moon, Napa Auto Parts, Jims Quality Quick Lube, Shining Star Sanctuary’s, Fauna Rose Photography, King Range Books, Exhale Yoga and Wellness, Pacific Outfitters. Pamela Johnson of BijouMedia for the flyer design,The kids and families were jumping around with smiles thanks to new founded Southern Humboldt based bounce house company, Osborne Inflatables. Blackjack Humboldt of Arcata came through with some free shirts added to the first ERCP merchandise.


The ERCP would like to also give thanks to those who gave generous donations for the cause, Mariah Gregori, Cora Bird, Jim and Marie Johnson, and Rick Speas, Ian Mccants, Pablo Martin, Denise Bonham Neil,  Jim and Tammy Clary of Napa Auto Parts, Dale Warmuth of Leon’s Car Care Center, Paul and Barbara Turner, Dave and Michelle Bushnell, Annie and Zach Bignon  and everyone who came out to support and celebrate.


Many opportunities to help out: Every Tuesday and Friday from 11a.m. to 2ish…Meet at the Tiger Lily Bookstore, and Laundromat Parking lot in Garberville.  Sundays at 10 a.m. at the Alderpoint/Carter Creek site. Gearing up for a big Alderpoint Cleanup on April 19th, with Southern Humboldt Tech Rescue Team, all are invited to participate. Along with other opportunities big and small to be a part of the movement to a cleaner, healthier Humboldt.


Yet another important reason to support local businesses, musicians and the artists who give of themselves for the better of all, and have a great time doing it.  The ERCP would like to invite you to join the movement, get involved, sponsor a clean-up, and help spread the good word to the extended community that they aren’t just talking trash, they are tackling it, and need all the HumLOVE they can get.  Power in Numbers and the Music is proving to be a successful motto. Keep the movement growing, for a County with the magic of the ancient trees, rivers, and ocean, it is refreshing to see the stewards giving back to the beauty of the land that we are blessed to call home.


Come join us, our regular cleanup schedule is Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m. in Garberville, we meet at Tiger Lily Books parking lot.  And Sundays in Alderpoint the Carter Creek site at 10 a.m. Contact or



  • These people are the best.

  • Love it. This is the southern humboldt I remember. Not waiting around for some govt agency to do something but community love through self sufficient action. Schools, community centers, festivals and now serious clean up efforts made by community members. Thank you for re-igniting the flame of love, hope and community in our beautiful amazing area! I hope this group will have a booth at summer arts 🙂

  • Big ups to everyone, I love you.

  • I wish we could have counties, or even just towns, where this is how we handle EVERYTHING…. I’m sick of the politically-astute making a bad job of things that matter to the whole community, caving-in to monied interests at everyone’s expense, or not doing the smart thing because it “costs too much”, shilly-shallying on things that might incur the wrath of Sacramento or DC, watering down good proposals until they’re worthless, continually referring plain good sense things to panels of “experts”….

    Drives me nuts.

    I can’t even think how to express my gratitude for this cleanup project. It does my heart so much good.

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