If you happened to see people festively dressed in tutus and costumes picking up trash, you are not alone! On September 8th through the 10th, the local Burning Man community (AKA Burners), came together for MOOP The Lake. The three-day event hosted in multiple locations around the lake was to help restore our beautiful community to its more natural state. The themed event began on TuTu Tuesday as crews swept through spots, graciously picking up trash until Saturday – Fursday.
MOOP The Lake was inspired by the dramatic increase in trash being left in the Lake Tahoe / Truckee area due to the COVID-related increase in tourism. Around the lake, MOOPers saw a problem and decided to take the matter into their own hands by organizing the cleanups. (moopthelake.org)
MOOP stands for Matter Out Of Place, a term believed to be coined by Burning Man. Burning Man, with an attendance of nearly 80,000, is the world’s largest Leave No Trace event, and MOOPing (clean up) is part of that process. Teams stay on the playa long after Burners go home, working for weeks to restore the playa to its natural state. MOOP The Lake was about bringing the MOOP philosophy to our backyard.
From the Event Organizers
“Burners are the kind of people who will dance in a whiteout dust storm, so unsurprisingly, they were dancing and joking while picking diapers out of the bushes with their trash grabbers too,” said Cyan Samone.
Samone and Margie Reynolds organized the event after seeing post after post of the trash problem in the Tahoe / Truckee area. Samone and Reynolds who have worked at Burning Man decided to round up the local community to help the problem.
Samone and Reynolds organized MOOP the Lake in about a month. The organizers posted and shared the event through social media. While they were happy with the turnout, they had several people interested in helping after the event had passed.
“It felt really good to flex my event organizer muscles on something good to help my new community. It was also really fun to meet new people and make new friends through the cleanup,” said Samone.
MOOP the Lake plans to hold another 3-day cleanup the week after Labor Day next year and hopefully more cleanups in the near future. (Source: https://www.tahoedailytribune.com/news/moop-the-lake-collects-over-200-pounds-of-trash/ )
Photo: Lead “MOOPer” GingerB and volunteers. Provided by Margie Reynolds.
Cheyanne Neuffer – Tahoe Tribune: https://www.tahoedailytribune.com/news/moop-the-lake-collects-over-200-pounds-of-trash/
MOOP The Lake Event Website: https://moopthelake.org/