“My burn name is Parsec,” Patrick Brown of Corpus Christi, Texas told me. “I am previously of Arcattack, still fart around with them but doing chemistry full time at the moment. Been doing BWB events since right after Katrina. Brought 300 pounds of meat to feed the town of Pearlington at the one-year anniversary of the Katrina effort.”
This is exactly the (gender-neutral) cowboy way Burners talk about their adventures, and it was music to my ears. But Parsec isn’t talking about the town-sized bacon party in the Black Rock Desert. He’s talking about disaster relief efforts with Burners Without Borders, which is increasingly part of the Burner job description these days.
Parsec and Corpus Christi BWB have made local headlines recently for their work cleaning up “The Bowl,” a stretch of beach in the Corpus Christi area that would make a great place for a burn if it hadn’t been totally trashed and neglected. Shotgun shells, furniture, parking blocks, MOOP city. But Corpus Christi BWB rounded up a bunch of volunteers and started cleaning the place up last year. “It’s been well over 8,000 pounds of trash,” Parsec told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. “We removed four trailer loads and a 15-foot dumpster, and it’s still a mess and still continues.”
“Corpus Christi BWB is me, Jay Guerrero, and Liz Creme,” Parsec says. “There are only a handful of Burners in Corpus. I mainly pull volunteers from Austin and San Antonio and Dallas and Houston.” It’s a small organization, indeed, but there is a plan. BWB is working out the jurisdiction stuff with the authorities, but when the plan goes ahead, Parsec believes there will be a replicable model for BWB groups to work with officials to clean up neglected places like The Bowl and make them available for the kinds of respectful leave-no-trace get-togethers Burners do best.
About Burners Without Borders
Burners Without Borders was born in Biloxi, Mississippi during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort. When the hurricane struck during the Burning Man event that year, volunteers traveled directly from Black Rock City to the ravaged area to fill in where government relief efforts were falling short.
Since then, BWB volunteers have worked on relief projects all over the world. Its annual grant program helps would-be volunteers realize their vision of making a difference in their communities.
If you would like to get involved, please contact BWB through the Burners Without Borders website.