As part of the celebration of the World Wetland Day, this past Saturday, February 3rd we took part in the volunteering activity “Dóna un cop de mà”. We helped in the cleaning, maintenance, and improvement around S’ Estany de Ses Salines. The event was organized by Ibiza and Formentera’s Natural Reserves.
The activity was led by Marta Tur Riera, who is an environmental educator for the protected areas in the Pityusic islands. She was well received by a small audience to whom, aside from being a fulfilling experience, it was a chance to become more aware of the importance of keeping our beaches and natural spaces clean.
The journey started at ten in the morning. The participants had previously signed in by making a phone call to the Consellería de Medi Ambient. Once we were all gathered at Cap des Falcó, Marta explained in deep detail the reason of the work we were about to carry out. “On the occasion of the World Wetland Day, we have organized the cleaning of this area because it is often used by the Kentish plover (a small waterfowl) to build its nests. We don’t know if they are going to use it this year, but we at least want to leave this place in the right conditions”.
Not overnight, but at a steady pace, Marta and her teammates handed out gloves, small bags and huge garbage bags for everyone. Next, we started to walk along Es Codolar searching for trash.
In case you have never taken part of this kind of volunteer work; it is hard to imagine the number of plastics, crystals, lighters, pieces of wood, ropes, pieces of iron… just stuff you can easily spot on the beach.
Ironically, when we started the activity, we never would have thought that each one of us could be able to fill one of those huge bags with garbage. But much to our surprise, we ended up needing more than one, and in less than three hours, we had managed to build a huge mountain of rubbish. And even if it sounds sad, that pile of trash was our reward as volunteers; it represents the feeling of knowing that we were doing something for the island with such a small action, was indescribable.
How can I be a volunteer?
There are several organizations that do volunteer work in Ibiza. They gather to help out in any kind of problem: cleaning the beaches, gathering food, sports events…
You can also find Balears Natura on the web. They publish a monthly agenda which includes all of the activities that take place in each of the Natural Reserves of the Balearic Islands, such as Ses Salines or Es Vedrá.
Aside from volunteering journeys, they also have a wide variety of educational and leisure sessions, such as guided excursions or informative conferences. If you want to be up to date with all of their activities, follow them on Facebook or contact Balears Natura so that they can send the monthly agenda directly to your email.