Car Parts Excavated in Creek Cleanup

Katy Ly, Staff Writer

Students from Tren Kauzer’s AP Environmental Science class found car parts while cleaning up Las Trampas Creek in Lafayette on Sunday, September 28.

“We found an entire car bumper,” said senior Brendan Wilson. Students also found rubber from car tires, a steering wheel, and a chrome headlight.

The students were participants in Lafayette Creek Day, a volunteer clean-up and invasive plant removal in the creeks surrounding Lafayette. “Lafayette has all these creeks, and people don’t have access to them,” said Austin Payne, a member of the Lafayette Creeks Committee. The Committee organized Creek Day as a way to raise awareness in Lafayette and generally celebrate the creek, according to Payne. “Hopefully we get people in the creek,” he said.

Kauzer and his class were encouraged to come. “I came two years ago, and it was a really cool experience,” said Kauzer. Some students from his AP Environmental Science classes helped in the clean-up as well. “I think a lot of the students are out here because I’m giving them extra credit,” Kauzer said. He added that two years ago, he managed to encourage between fifty to sixty students to come to Creek Day. “It’s pretty impressive,” he said.

Along with other volunteers, students removed invasive plants and picked up trash. However, they eventually came across a strange looking piece of metal. After some digging, the students discovered the rusty remains of a car bumper. Wilson said, “We saw it at first and we were like, ‘whoa. There’s got to be more of it.'”

Kauzer’s students and other volunteers continued to excavate the area. At the end of the day, they managed to find a headlight, car tire rubber, a section containing the steering wheel, and various other remains of the car. They successfully dug out the whole bumper, and hauled it out of the creek for disposal. The students and volunteers were unable to identify what type of car they had dug up, but they were satisfied with their find. “We felt kind of accomplished,” said Wilson.

Junior Michael Wright said that he might return to Creek Day next year to dig out the rest of the car. “The steering wheel this time,” he added.

Payne said that he hopes Creek Day will continue to be an annual event, and that it will continue to raise awareness. “Hopefully it will make them [the public] realize everyday we could do something in our environment and watershed instead of something far away,” he said.

Kauzer added, “Everyone will have a smile on their face because they’re hanging out with their friends and it’s a beautiful place.”