Sharon Kilbride/Bruce Schwartz Undertake Massive Cleanup

The campsite was filled with bags and bags of discarded material that needed to be cleared.

It sounded like it would be a simple task.

Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness co-president Sharon Kilbride and a member of the volunteer response team, Bruce Schwartz, invited this Circling the News editor to join them in cleaning out an encampment in Temescal Gateway Park below Rimmer Avenue on April 27.

The LAPD Beach detail had reported that the campsite was deserted, and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy had asked for the PPTFH’s help.

The instructions were to meet at 7:45 a.m. by the gift shop.

Three members of the SMMC rangers met Schwartz, Kilbride and this editor.

Both pickups were driven on the road past the swimming pool to the three small classrooms on the land past the pool, and below Rimmer. A locked gate was opened, and the vehicles driven to the end of the road.

Then, it was about a quarter mile walk on a narrow trail, that wound back in the hills. It is a lush, pretty area that hikers generally don’t access, because of the locked gate by the buildings. Although, it is possible to go up the hill slightly to go around the fence to enter the area.

Walking single file, the rangers walked up a slight hill, followed by Schwartz, Kilbride and myself. On the small natural shelf that contained the camp garbage/bags and clothing were everywhere.

A short distance up another hill there was another 10 large black bags, filled with items. And then another 20 yards above that, there were even more bags.

Kilbride and I started tossing/hauling bags down from the higher areas to the lower campsite as the others started hauling the trash from that site the quarter of mile back to the pickups.

Then we started a relay system. Kilbride and I would carry it the first 100 yards, and the men would take it from there. Chairs, containers, recycled cans, discarded clothing – and bags and bags of garbage were hauled out.

Two of the rangers took a 2 by 4 piece of wood, tied two bags together, and threw them over the wood. They repeated the process several times, put the wood on their shoulders and then carried out eight bags at once.

To reach the campsite was about a quarter of a mile through a meadow and then on a narrow trail by the hillside.

All were sweating at the continuous process of lifting, hauling and carrying heavy bags.

Finally, all three areas were cleaned, and two pickup beds were filled with trash.

The trash from the campsite filled the back of two pickup trucks.

Trucks were driven back into Temescal Park, and all of the “stuff” went into a dumpster, filling it full. It took six people almost an hour and a half to clear this illegal campsite.

Kilbride reminds everyone, if you see anyone camping, especially in high fire severity zones, to report it immediately.

(Editor’s note: CTN has helped clean up campsites along Temescal Canyon Road and below the Via de las Olas bluffs, but this lone campsite, filling two pickup beds, was one of the worst environmental hazards to date.)

After the trash was removed, this is how the parkland looked.

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10 Responses to Sharon Kilbride/Bruce Schwartz Undertake Massive Cleanup

  1. barbara kohn says:

    To all members of the Clean Up Crew — on behalf of the Community my thanks and gratitude for your contribution to the well being of the hillside, the canyon, the community, and society – your efforts are appreciated and acknowledged!!! Thank You!!

  2. Krishna Thangavelu says:

    So interesting to see these photos. Thanks to LAPD Beach detail and the entire clean up team.

  3. Bravo to you wonderful citizens who keep our city safe.

  4. david peterson says:

    Our Palisades community owes a huge thank you to Sharon Kilbride, Bruce Schwartz, the Rangers and you Sue for this clean up. That was an enormous, exhausting and important clean up of our hillsides. On a daily basis, Sharon and Bruce deal with the homeless on our streets and in the hills and canyons of the Palisades. They need the support and participation of our greater community before they burn out. They are truly community heroes.

  5. M says:

    These are truly dedicated individuals. The PPHTF volunteers are WONDERFUL.
    Bruce, Sharon and the Rangers are to be commended for their difficult and sometimes dangerous efforts. Many thanks to all. Thanks to you Sue for your concerned and constant reporting.


  6. Marilyn Wexler says:

    Sharon and Bruce rock.

  7. Marybeth Ursin-Smith says:

    Bravo to the Pacific Palisades Task Force on homelessness…Thank you for your hard work cleaning up the illegal encampments!

  8. Marge Gold says:

    Thanks to all of you!! What would our community do without the PPTFH, Sharon and Bruce.

  9. elizabeth kline mullan says:

    Thank you so much!

  10. Craig Brill says:

    What an amazing job thank you! We must be proactive on keeping encampments out of our hills

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