Okinawa outdoors-men and women: A call for volunteers! Check it out!
On the small island of Okinawa, Japan there is an active community of climbers consisting of US service members and local Japanese nationals. A favorite climb/boulder hangout is Gushichan beach on the South end of the island. Not only is this beach home to hundreds of potential bouldering problems and even a few sport routes, it is one of many significant WWII historical sites on the island. This beach is subject to busloads of tourists, typhoons, and multiple ocean currents. Inevitably, it ends up trashed.
On Saturday, 19 November at 10:00 AM climbers and outdoor enthusiasts will meet at Gushichan beach. Our goal is to come together, clean up the beach, and show the local mayor how the climbing community rolls. The local mayor of Yaese (八重瀬町) has agreed to support, and will even provide trash bags and send trucks to pick up the rubbish. Once we finish tidying the place up, we plan to knock out a few boulder problems and have a good ole fashioned beach BBQ.
This event is the brainchild of Travis Keller. He and Shawn Akers have done much of the planning and coordination with the military and Yaese. They are 2 of the most active Okinawa climbers. Eman Lacoste has helped motivate and guide us younger cats for this event. Even though he now lives in Indonesia, still has quite the influence on the Okinawa climbing community. He was one of the advocates who really developed Okinawa into a climber’s island. He recently opened a beautiful climbing gym in Surabaya, and even authored the guidebook, Aga, covering Oki climbing hotspots.
I have also registered this event through the Access Fund’s “Adopt a Crag” program. They sponsor 140+ events like ours in 30+ states (and now Oki!).
Are you a climber, outdoor enthusiast, or just feel like helping? We would be stoked if you joined the cause. Just a couple of hours can really make a difference! What’s in it for you? You will have the chance to network with some of Okinawa’s most active outdoors-men and women, check out a beautiful beach, and work to sustain and advocate for one of our local playgrounds.
We need lots folks to pick up junk on the beach, and also a few who are willing to get wet to grab junk that is in the water (Snorkelers welcome!). Not into picking up junk? You can also help by providing medical support, taking photos, reporting, or helping to direct volunteers.
We could also use help with donations of: drinks, snacks, or BBQ style food.
To volunteer, or ask a question– comment below, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com
Who: Okinawa outdoor enthusiasts
What: Gushi Beach Cleanup and Boulder Bash!
When: Saturday, 19 November @ 10:00 AM (Convoy rendezvous at 9:00 AM at Kadena USO parking lot)
Why: To advocate for and sustain our playgrounds
Gear: Gloves, drinking water, snacks, rakes, shovels, folding saws, machetes, old shoes/clothes, climbing shoes/gear, snorkel gear.
Directions: (+26° 7′ 7.89″, +127° 44′ 52.10″) Take the expressway south. Exit in between 1 and 2 and head towards the airport. Then, exit A2. which leads to the 507. From the off ramp, take a left towards Gushikami. This road will come to a Y onto the 507. Take that left and drive down 1km. Take a right in front of a car shop. That road will lead you to the beach (Confused? Meet us at the Kadena USO at 9:00 AM. Easy.)
3 thoughts on “Gushi Beach Cleanup and Boulder Bash!”
Success! We had a great time, and tracked down a bunch of junk. Look for full details here in the next couple days.
Great set up & can’t wait to participate in future events! It was amazing to see that rain or shine, everyone showed up early with the same motive & goal. Clean that beach!! It rained, rained, & rained all day. That did not stop the volunteers from grabbing bags & hiking over rough coral, through the sand, or in the shallows picking up every random toothbrush, straw, bottle cap, can, & boat trash that covered the area. A great mix of Americans & locals on a mission! (Surprisingly after cleanup only a few stayed to boulder/rock climb) I wish more people would spend a couple hours of their weekend this way – It was fun, peaceful, & gratifying! It definitely makes you take a step back & think about the things you throw away…