…provide volunteers with a fun and exciting experience
Since October of 2011, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection has been hosting large scale community cleanup events throughout the 660 square mile Barnegat Bay Watershed. This cleanup event, called the Barnegat Bay Blitz, has between 50-100 cleanups that occur throughout the watershed that all happen on one designated day. One of our cleanup locations is in Plumsted New Jersey which is an inland rural community that experiences quite a bit of illegal dumping and littering around the forested area of Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area.
Our inland cleanups have historically been difficult to find consistent volunteers with the majority of our volunteers preferring the coastal cleanup locations along the Bay and Ocean. However, our dedicated Plumsted Captain, Jeff Mason, found the secret to attracting consistent and eager volunteers for his Plumsted cleanup; pairing up with Bev Vienckowski of Second Wind Farm and her beautiful and friendly llamas named Jim-E and Carbon Footprint.
Coined the “litter llamas”, Jim-E and Carbon Footprint, have joined approximately 25 volunteers on a cleanup throughout the forested area at our first three Blitz events. While the llamas assist in the cleanup by hauling litter out of the field in specially designed backpacks, they most importantly provide volunteers with a fun and exciting experience! Plumsted volunteers have consistently returned to work with the llamas; eager to take a turn walking the llamas, filling their packs, and taking lots of pictures with them!
With every passing Blitz the demand for the litter llamas increases and in 2013 Bev decided to bring a third llama named Gunner to join the crew. In 2014, all five litter llamas came out to work at the Blitz! We attribute volunteer retention in Plumsted to the fun experience created by working side by side with these awesomely lovable, kind, super adorable and puffy little llamas! Our volunteers just love them!
Katie Barnett, Barnegat Bay Blitz Co-Chair