Volunteer Highlights


Join us for National Volunteer Week recognition on April 11 at City Hall

Click on this link or image below for a printable flyer.

Thousands Gave our Beaches and Waterways a Pick-Me-Up September 20

Over 54,000 Californians turned to lend their hands in support of clean beaches and inland waterways at the 30th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, the state’s largest volunteer event on September 20, 2014. These volunteers scoured beaches and inland waterways, picking up trash and debris at over 850 sites in 55 of California’s 58 counties, gathering hundreds of tons of trash during this morning’s three-hour event, picking up 576,571 pounds of trash and an additional 109,494 pounds of recyclable materials, for a total of 686,065 pounds or 343 tons. Many volunteers brought their own reusable bag or bucket and reusable gloves to the event, rather than using the single-use disposable plastic items that were available at every site with the result that almost 50,000 fewer trash bags were used for this year’s event. In the County of Ventura 2,981 volunteers picked up 7,880 pounds of trash and 1,194 pounds of recyclables at 20 coastal and inland sites. At six City of Ventura sites, 895 volunteers picked up 3,358 pounds of trash and 228 pounds of recyclables through the City of Ventura’s Volunteer Ventura! Thank you, Venturans!








2014: 550 CLU students “smarten up” Ventura parks on September 2

For the seventh year, all incoming freshmen and transfer students at California Lutheran University took up a service challenge during orientation to beautify Ventura with shovels, rakes, brooms, paintbrushes and enthusiasm.

"Our goal is to help thesenew residents connect to their local community in a meaningful way,” said Cary Glenn, supervisor of Volunteer Ventura! “Their service is a win for them and a win for us. We thank them and CLU for this annualcommitment to service which is a great example of a successful ongoing community partnership with the City of Ventura.”

In the past (2008-2013) CLU students led by city staff and community members removed over 57 tons of trash and debris from the Ventura and Santa Clara Riverbeds and in 2012 removed invasive ice plant from the Ventura Harbor Wetlands Ecological Reserve. This year CLU students fanned out to five park or open space sites throughout the city.

Students assigned to Arroyo Verde Park’s 14 acres of tree-lined open space planted 12 new trees, painted picnic tables, benches and curbs, stained the nature center deck and spread mulch.

Students at Camino Real Park spread 16 cubic yards of new sand in the tot lot, painted picnic tables, benches and curbs, and cleared hundreds of pounds of pine needles from the parking lot and sidewalks.

Students at the 15 acres of beachfront at Marina Park painted alcoves, trash cans and memorial benches while other classmates sifted debris from the sand around the San Salvador replica ship and its zip line popular with children, cleared invasive ice-plant and painted over 60 trash cans.

At the Olivas Adobe Historic ParkCLU President Dr. Chris Kimballworked alongside CLU students to mulch the rose garden, rebuild courtyard ramada covers, paint curbs and the grape arbor and provide general cleaning.

Westpark’s after-school program of elementary and middle school students looked on as Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann joined CLU students to apply a fresh coat of paint to the exterior of the community center.

Community groups interested in improving their community through service projects are encouraged to reach Coordinator of Volunteer Ventura! Rosie Ornelas at 805/652-4555, rornelas@cityofventura.net or www.cityofventura.net/volunteeropportunities.

2013:  California Lutheran University students partner with City of Ventura to clean up the Santa Clara Riverbed

On September 3, 2013 CLU students participating in their 'You Got Served' service learning project will again partner with Volunteer Ventura! -- this time the students and city staff will focus on the removal of debris as a result of unauthorized homeless encampments in the riverbed.

This is the 6th year the Volunteer Ventura! Program has partnered with California Lutheran University.  From 2008-2011, this partnership effort removed more than 36 tons of trash and debris from the Ventura Riverbed.  In 2012, city staff and students removed invasive ice plant from the Ventura Harbor Wetlands Ecological Reserve.


2012:   CLU students partnered with City to remove non-native plants from Ventura Harbor Wetlands Ecological Reserve

On September 4, 2012 more than 600 students from California Lutheran University partnered with the City of Ventura Volunteer Ventura program for the fifth annual “You Got Served” service-learning project that introduces incoming CLU freshman and transfer students to the university’s commitment to service and connects them to their local community.

CLU students worked alongside City staff and community volunteers to remove ice plant, a highly invasive species that competes directly with endangered native plants for water and nutrients and lowers the biodiversity of our coastal ecosystems. Students ended the two hour project by spreading a mixture of wildflower seeds in an effort to re-establish native vegetation to the Ventura Harbor Wetlands Ecological Reserve.

The fifty-acre Harbor Wetlands is surrounded by the Ventura Harbor, the Santa Clara River estuary and the Pacific Ocean, and is an important environmental asset and a critical link along the Ventura shoreline. The site, part of the Ventura Water Reclamation facility, is also an important component of city infrastructure. The wetlands are teeming with small mammals and birds, including special status species that are attracted to the rich habitats in and around the site’s three ponds. The site is currently open to the public as a popular bird-watching area.

“You Got Served” is the City’s largest annual volunteer group project and a stellar example of Volunteer Ventura’s goal to mobilize community members to enhance the quality of life in Ventura by fostering meaningful volunteer participation through dynamic partnerships that connect citizens to their city government, community and environment.

Ventura Riverbed Cleanups by California Lutheran University and Volunteer Ventura!

Each year from 2008 to 2011 more than 600 incoming freshman and transfer students traveled from the California Lutheran University (CLU) campus in Thousand Oaks to the Ventura Riverbed in September to remove tons of trash left behind by homeless encampments, performing this invaluable community outreach and service as a single unified team to help restore riverine habitat, protect wildlife and prevent runoff pollution into the ocean.

CLU students work alongside City of Ventura staff from the Departments of Parks, Recreation & Community Partnerships, Public Works, Finance & Technology, Police and Community Development, beginning south at the Ventura River mouth and spreading out north along the riverbed.

CLU Cleanup Media Kit

For more information, please contact City of Ventura Volunteer Coordinator Rosie Ornelas at 805-652-4555 or rornelas@cityofventura.net.