As you’re walking or biking around Davis these days, keep an eye out for Davis Picks It Up volunteers. You’ll recognize them by their blue vests, big smiles, and colorful litter grabbers!

Davis Picks It Up (DPIU) is a new, all-volunteer group that helps prevent marine trash, connects like-minded individuals, and gets you out in your community. “We strive to improve our environment by keeping Davis clean and safe, ultimately keeping litter (especially plastics) out of the waterways,” says founder Cathie Bullis. “We collaborate with the City of Davis who agrees to pick up our filled trash bags after our events. It’s a win-win and we hope to expand to Yolo County jurisdiction to work with them next.” 

DPIU gathers every weekend and some weekdays at locations all around town. You may have spotted them recently at Davis High School, Sutter Davis Hospital, or Celebrate Davis lugging old shoes and tarps out of bushes, collecting bottle caps, and saving cigarette butts from getting swept away in the next wind storm.

One of the great things about picking up litter is the satisfaction of preventing some pretty significant downstream effects. The EPA estimates that 80% of the garbage floating in the oceans is due to land based sources. The litter on our streets gets washed into water sources and drains out the ocean where it devastates marine life, washes onto beaches, and collects into large plastic gyres in the open ocean.

Following a litter clean-up event, you can rest a bit easier knowing that each piece of litter picked up is one less piece of garbage in our community and floating in our oceans.

DPIU event sign and bag full of waste collected by volunteers. Courtesy photo.

Davis Picks It Up is growing strong

Davis Picks it Up, inspired by Sacramento Picks It Up, was started by Cathie Bullis in February 2022. Since inception, DPIU has experienced rapid growth and support from the community with a current total of 115 members and growing. It started with daily neighborhood walks, but as I noticed the trash, I started to pick it up feeling instant satisfaction.” Cathie continued, “While I was picking up litter one day, a member of Sacramento Picks It Up stopped me to chat and I decided that day I would start the Davis sister group.”   

“Anyone can do it,” says one member, “from young kids and their parents, to highschoolers, to folks in retirement.”

And honestly, it IS remarkably easy. In fact, as far as litter collection goes, you could start right now, no permission needed. Step out your door with a pair of gloves and a garbage bag and walk your neighborhood. The first time my four year old and I stepped out with our bag we had fantastic conversations with three of our neighbors. So, if you’re looking to start conversations and connect to those around you a bit more, there are few ways that offer more ease-of-entry than picking up litter.

Bring your neighborhood pick-up story to the next Davis Picks It Up event! The vibe is relaxed and welcoming and there’s no requirements or pre-requisites to participating. Follow the DPIU on Facebook to get news, come out with a pair of work gloves, and pick up some litter.

Join Davis Picks It Up on Facebook or by email at


Davis Picks It Up volunteers with gloves, grabbers, and buckets to get their work done. Courtesy photo.


Some Davis Picks It Up volunteers from this past weekend’s event, including me and my child with big smiles! Courtesy photo.


Environmental Protection Agency. “Learn About Aquatic Trash | US EPA.” US Environmental Protection Agency, 19 November 2021, Accessed 20 June 2022.