SYRCL Expands River Ambassador Program to Four South Yuba River Crossings

2012 River Ambassadors in action!

Nevada City, CA – With over 450,000 people visiting the Yuba River every summer, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) is expanding its River Ambassador program to all four major river crossings this summer in order to prevent the South Yuba River from being “loved to death.”  SYRCL seeks Yuba lovers to serve as volunteer River Ambassadors to reach out to both local residents and out-of-towners about how they can help keep the river clean, safe and healthy.

Launched just last summer, SYRCL’s volunteer River Ambassadors spent 642 hours at two major river crossings and spoke one-on-one with nearly 3,000 visitors to inspire them to take personal responsibility for preventing wildfires, garbage dumping, and water pollution due to unsanitary practices.

“Local and out-of-town visitors told us how happy they were to meet our volunteer River Ambassadors at the river. They welcomed the Ambassador’s gentle reminders to pack out whatever they packed in, leave glass at home, clean up after their dogs, and prevent forest fires,” said Caleb Dardick, SYRCL’s Executive Director.

This summer, SYRCL plans to double the River Ambassadors’ impact by fielding volunteers

2012 River Captains at the Hwy 49 Bridge enjoying a “beautiful work day”!

at all four major river crossings every weekend from June 22nd through September 21st (Highway 49, Bridgeport, Edwards and Purdon Crossings). Volunteers generally commit to four shifts over the summer and attend a special River Ambassador training on June 1st.  River Ambassador training focuses on how to educate visitors about river stewardship and to encourage responsible behaviors at the river. Ambassadors will not be trained to be park rangers or police and will have no enforcement responsibilities.

“We are looking for friendly, outgoing volunteers who love and care for the river to serve as River Ambassadors,” says SYRCL Volunteer Coordinator Miriam Limov.  “By talking face-to-face to visitors at river crossings, at beaches and on trails, SYRCL’s corps of River Ambassadors will vastly expand outreach about the Yuba and how visitors can care for it.”

SYRCL is also looking to hire four people to become River Captains and get paid to be on the river educating the public about stewardship.  Resumes will be accepted for the River Captain positions until May 18th.

“As a River Captain last year, I was deeply moved by the in-depth conversations I had with visitors to the South Yuba River.  People are very interested in the health of the Yuba,” commented Andrew Collins-Anderson, a 2012 River Captain and SYRCL’s current AmeriCorps Stewardship Coordinator and manager of the River Ambassador program.  “I would watch the ‘light bulb’ click on for folks as we discussed different Yuba issues.  We would talk about how important community involvement is for keeping the Yuba watershed healthy.  This was very empowering for everyone involved.”

Yuba River visitor packing out everything!

According to California State Park Superintendent Marilyn Linkem, financial strain on the state park budget has made monitoring such a large river corridor very difficult. “We commend SYRCL for taking this proactive approach in providing a trained volunteer corps of community members who can support our efforts and help to improve the experience visitors and locals have in this beautiful area.”

SYRCL has a long history mobilizing volunteers to care for the river. Over 650 volunteers removed over 7700 pounds of garbage during last fall’s Annual Greater Yuba River Cleanup and Restoration Day. In addition, SYRCL will continue to pay for the placement of much needed porta-potties at Purdon Crossing.  SYRCL envisions a day when there will no longer be a need for an annual cleanup day as everyone who visits the river will be good stewards, which means if you “pack it in, please pack it out.”

The River Ambassadors Program is made possible in part by generous funding from the California State Parks Foundation.

SIDEBAR:

What: Volunteer for SYRCL’s River Ambassador program

Why: To protect and promote a healthy, clean and safe South Yuba River

When: Weekends from June 22nd through September 21st

Where:  Highway 49 Bridge, Bridgeport, Edwards Crossing, Purdon Crossing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *