LAUREL CANYON—For the past 10 years, creator of, Jackie Hunsicker, has been dedicating time and effort to keeping the canyons clean. With the help of just a handful of volunteers, Hunsicker has collected over 400 bags of trash and over 200 piles of scrap metal, rugs and debris that had been in the canyons for decades as well as construction debris dumped in the area by companies who do not wish to pay to costly dump fees. These numbers represent only what has been collected in the past few months.

“I’ve gone out by myself to Coldwater Canyon and picked up litter whenever it got pretty bad,” Hunsicker told Canyon News. “But things began to spin out of control after the recession hit. There was so much debris it looked like we were living in an underdeveloped country. It was shameful. I was embarrassed to live here.”

Hunsicker has been able to recruit the help of Raul Flores (an individual she met while he was gathering cans for recycling), Cliff Retson, Tom O’Rourke and his son Jonathan, as well as Steve Bloodworth and Jim Hardie from the Tree People. Hunsicker states that she and Flores make up the “core” of the organization covering 17.2 miles. The team covers Coldwater from Ventura to Hidden Valley, Mulholland from Coldwater to the 101 and Laurel Canyon from Ventura to Hollywood.

Hunsicker explained that the organization needs to receive donations on a continuous basis in order to continue their efforts. Items such as trash bags and gloves are sometimes donated to the organization by the city, but funds are needed to cover other litter removal expenses.  “Once that can be accomplished, we would be happy to cover all the canyons. I would love to see these hills protected, not just from development which the SMMC does, but I’d like to see them deemed a city treasure,” Hunsicker claimed.

In regard to tourism, Hunsicker said litter could have a huge impact on the number of people visiting the area. “Tour buses go up to Mulholland every 20 minutes. If tourists see piles of litter and junk everywhere, they aren’t going to want to come back. They won’t tell their friends to come. It gives a pretty hideous impression that we, Angelenos, don’t care about where we live.”

Those who would like to contribute time or donations to NoLitterZone can e-mail Hunsicker at or can simply pick up garbage on the side of the road when they see it. “Do it once a day, once a week,” said Hunsicker. “Every little effort COUNTS.”