On Sunday, the Sierra Club had fun exploring Lizard’s Mouth and doing valuable cleanup at the same time.

Lizard’s Mouth is one of our local gems of natural beauty. It consists of sculpted rock formations that are not only pleasing to the eye but also a delight for people of all ages to explore and climb on. Unfortunately, a small but destructive minority goes to Lizard’s Mouth to get drunk and trash the place.

But we had an energetic and dedicated group to make things better. Despite rainy weather leading up to the hike, we had a good group of 11 people. Several people were new to Sierra Club outings and this was their introduction.

Everyone was focused on doing the best cleanup they could, with a positive attitude and a smile. Sometimes it was hard for people to give up working on a tough challenge in one spot in order to move on to other areas.

We also stayed longer than usual, until about 1 p.m.

Big thanks to Conrad Alexander, Duane De Amicis, Michelle Bedard, Susan Shields, Janice Taylor, Danielle, Charles and Lia Barteet, Mary Ann Kestner and Martin Knight.

The result:

» 70 pounds of nasty stuff picked up. Only last year’s 88 pounds surpassed this year’s haul.

» More glass shards than you can imagine. This was very time consuming, and I applaud the efforts that so many made to seek out and pick up every bit they could find.

» Cigarette butts, which are highly toxic to wildlife. Fortunately, not too many this year.

» A few paintball pellets. These are mistaken for berries by birds and other animals and can kill them. Again, fortunately not too many this year.

» Some bullet shells, but fewer than in the past. I am hoping most of these are from the past and are not new.

» Blankets and other bedding, soaking wet. Probably not from homeless, but from drunken partiers.

» Lots of cans, intact glass bottles and plastic bottles. I was able to recycle these.

It seems discouraging to have to keep going back and picking up the mess that other people leave. But the consensus was that we are making a difference and there is progress. When people see less trash at Lizard’s Mouth, they realize it is not cool to be the one who is leaving trash there.

Again, thank you to all who helped.

Robert Bernstein is a local photographer and frequent Noozhawk contributor.