Over 650 volunteers remove trash, restore trails and remove invasive vegetation!

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The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) coordinated the 13th annual Greater Yuba River Clean-Up and Restoration Day on Saturday, September 25 with over 650 volunteers ranging in age from 2 to 75 years old!

Volunteers cleaned and restored 35 sites throughout the Yuba and Bear River Watersheds, including Deer, Wolf and Dry Creeks.

The Clean-Up began at 9am and by noon, volunteers had pulled out an estimated 9,000 pounds of trash and 2,000 pounds of recyclables and restored over 3 acres of land by removing invasive vegetation including trail maintenance in Grouse Ridge, Tahoe National Forest. Clean-Up sites ranged from Donner Summit to Parks Bar on the Lower Yuba covering over 80 miles of shoreline.

See the end of this post for SYRCL’s GREATER YUBA RIVER CLEAN-UP AND RESTORATION DAY Results 1998-2010

The clean-up coincided with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s 2nd Annual Great Sierra River cleanup, which netted 151 tons of trash collected by more than 4,500 volunteers from all the watersheds across the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  SYRCL’s event coincided with the California Coastal Commission’s statewide effort and International Coastal Cleanup Day, which celebrated 26 years of global coastal protection.

Locally, more than a third of the volunteers were age 18 and under, from groups including the Bear River Key Club, Colfax High School environmental studies class, Grass Valley Charter School, Downieville School, Yuba River Charter School, the NEO Club, Yuba Environmental Science Charter Academy, Nevada County Youth Opposing The Use of Tobacco for Health and Boy and Girl Scout troops.  Other groups included members of Wolf Creek Community Alliance, Friends of Deer Creek, Nevada County Resource Conservation District, Nevada County Land Trust, the Sierra Club, Skippers Cove Marina, Sierra Arts Council, Gold Country Fly Fishers, Englebright House Boaters Association, Sierra Center for Spiritual Living, and Sierra Nevada Conservancy.

Some of the more interesting items included a wallet with a Florida driver’s license, part of a surfboard, and a blown-up safe.

“It is an inspiration to witness such a large number of people from our community collectively cleaning the rivers and creeks that they themselves did not trash because they believe in a healthy and clean watershed,” says Miriam Limov, SYRCL’s organizer of the event.

“Thanks for the opportunity to do the restoration at Bridgeport!! We worked our butts off, and had a great time doing it,” said Dawn Fischer of KVMR radio station participating with several other colleagues.

A post-Clean-Up celebration, volunteer awards ceremony, magical storytelling, and juggling by renowned Izzi Tooinsky and the Cuban sound of Sabroso band kept volunteers enjoying the Bridgeport Crossing on the South Yuba State Park for the afternoon.

Speaking to a crowd of over 300 volunteers on “family beach,” Jason Rainey, executive director of SYRCL, stated “At SYRCL we’ve had a great summer of successes, from winning a court victory for Yuba Salmon to publishing a Yuba Watershed Assessment based on our 10 years of volunteer River Monitoring data.  Yet it’s events such as the Greater Yuba Clean Up that bring everyone together for an annual cleansing of our rivers and creeks before the storms of fall and winter.  What a tremendous community effort—thank you to everyone who has made this possible.”

Joan Keegan of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy along with Assemblyman Dan Logue congratulated the volunteers on being stewards of our river.

Volunteers also enjoyed a free lunch donated by Jim Gates and Nevada County Free Range Beef, Living Lands Agrarian Network, Indian Springs Organic Farm, Mountain Bounty Farm, Four Frog Farm, Riverhill Farm, SPD, California Organics, Broad Street Bistro, Flour Garden Bakery, Carl’s Jr., Summer Thyme’s, New Belgium, Mother Truckers, Natural Selection, Extremely Green, and Valentina’s Bakery.

Additionally, volunteers involved in SYRCL’s efforts over the past year were honored:

  • SYRCL outgoing Board of Directors Award:  Ralph Cutter and Heidi Hall
  • Volunteer of the Year:    Rorie Gotham

Agency Support with Trash/Recycling:

Nevada County, United States Forest Service, California State Parks, Waste Management, California Department of Transportation, City of Grass Valley, Yuba County Water Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, Nevada Irrigation District, Placer County Parks, Bureau of Land Management, and Ananda Dhiira.

Business Sponsors:

Support from the following local and regional businesses made the event possible: REI, Nevada City Self Storage, BriarPatch Co-Op, KVMR, B & C True Value, Sweetland Garden Supply, and YubaNet News.

SYRCL would like to extend our immense gratitude to all the sponsors, food donors, and the agencies that helped with trash/recycling collection for caring about the health of the Yuba and Bear Rivers, Deer, Dry and Wolf Creek watersheds.

SYRCL encourages everyone to thank and support the businesses that helped make the Greater Yuba River Clean-Up and Restoration Day a giant success.

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