Cambrian: Opinion

Squibbing Day lets Cambrians walk their trash talk

Jan Boughter, left, and Lynn Greene weed the median strips and sidewalk landscaping in Cambria.
Jan Boughter, left, and Lynn Greene weed the median strips and sidewalk landscaping in Cambria.

Beautify Cambria Association and the Cambria Historical Society invite all Cambrians to the third annual Squibbing Day from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10. Help pick up trash from Cambria’s sidewalks and gutters.

BCA took on Cambria’s trash problem by designing the Trash, Recycling and Planter Receptacles (TRPRs, pronounced “trippers”) that now help keep Main Street clean.

“People always remark on how much they appreciate us picking up trash,” said Claudia Harmon Worthen, president of Beautify Cambria. “We can all connect on tidying Cambria up.”

The history of Squibbing goes back to 1954, when retired educators Paul and Louise Squibb bought the home formerly occupied by the Darke family, now known as the Squibb House. On their daily walks, they chatted with neighbors and picked up trash. The idea caught on, and Squibbing Day is named in their honor.

“The Cambria Historical Society is grateful to Beautify Cambria for regenerating and implementing this noble community service, and enlisting youth groups and fellow Cambrians to participate,” said Consuelo Macedo. “We hope it awakens ongoing awareness and stewardship of our unique environment.”

Interested participants can meet on the grounds of the Cambria Historical Museum from 1 to 3 p.m. Sign up for the neighborhood you’d like to walk. No need to commit to the full two hours. All participation is greatly appreciated. All ages are welcome. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. BCA will provide trash bags, plastic gloves, trash grabbers for those who don’t want to bend over, and a map.

Refresh with lemonade and cookies. Walk away with a sense of belonging and pride in this beautiful community. The sharp-eyed volunteer who picks up something amusing or outrageous gets a prize.

Beautify Cambria’s mission

Beautify Cambria Association is a group of Cambrians improving our community and having fun in the process.

We are a creative, inclusive group focused on projects that are doable, sustainable, and serve to enhance the beauty, safety and well-being of our community.

We, along with most people, think that Cambria is a pretty, wonderful town. We love our pristine surroundings, our cool foggy climate, and our picturesque, human-scaled Main Street.

But the past few years have been difficult for everyone. Our businesses have survived the worst economic conditions since the Depression. Our hats are off to them.

To keep Cambria at its best means involving everyone in the effort. Working together, we can come up with creative ways to make Cambria an even more terrific town.

First impressions

Our goal is to make that first impression a positive one whether you are a tourist visiting our village for the first time or a seasoned local driving down Main Street. Keeping that goal in mind, we’ve accomplished a variety of projects in just a few months’ time. For example:

▪  Held a well-attended and successful Bee Faire event whose purpose was to educate the public on the importance of bees to our natural environment and how to encourage them to visit our gardens. We had fun, too; watching the hilarious bee-costumed dog parade that even included a huge cat. No one left hungry as a booth offered an abundance of treats for sale.

▪  Spruced up Cambria’s medians and sidewalk planting areas by removing weeds with the help of numerous community volunteers.

▪  Improved a sidewalk to meet ADA code and is safe for all — moms with strollers, seniors and the disabled. Our initial project is the sidewalk in front of Soto’s True Earth Market. We look forward to working with other retailers to follow this example.

▪  Maintained Trash-Recycle-Plant-Receptacles (TRPRs) located throughout our village. Their design and functionality is becoming famous, as other communities have requested information on how to purchase them.

Looking forward

We’ve got plans for other projects that will beautify Cambria even more:

▪  A Children’s Faire with an outdoor movie, amusements and food that engages our entire family community.

▪  Benches in locations around Cambria, to invite passersby to take a seat, relax and enjoy each other and our beautiful surroundings.

▪  Adding more native plants to the medians and sidewalk strips. Continuing maintenance keeps them weeded, mulched and watered.

▪  Pressure-washing all sidewalks in the downtown area.

All these projects cost money. BCA has benefited from grant funding for our work so far. BCA welcomes new members and supporters to help us continue to beautify Cambria.

Check out our website,, and contact us at or call 805-927-1934. Join us at a regular meeting, 3 p.m., first and third Wednesdays of each month at Pacific Premier Bank. Cash donations are welcome, and tax-deductible because of our 501c3 status: Beautify Cambria, 1241 Knollwood Drive, No. 113, Cambria, CA 93428.

Christine Scott of Cambria is a membership chair of the Beautify Cambria Association.