On Saturday, May19, your Local Editor Sheila Sanchez will join about 500 people for National River Cleanup Day, one of the state's largest cleanup events of the year.
From 9 a.m. to noon, Sanchez and other volunteers from Santa Clara County will pick up garbage at and County parks.
The event is coordinated by the Creek Connections Action Group, a consortium of public agencies and nonprofit organizations, including the Santa Clara Valley Water District, Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation and San Jose.
Sanchez has been assigned to work at site 34, which includes Los Gatos Creek in Vasona Park and Los Gatos Creek, from Highway 9 to Lark Avenue. She'll be meeting hundreds of local volunteers at the Vasona Lake County Park entrance, 333 Blossom Hill Rd.
Sanchez will be volunteering as part of Patch's Give 5 program—the initiative that encourages Patch editors across the country to volunteer five paid work days throughout the year in their communities. Patch also gives 5 percent of its advertising space, free of charge, to local charities.
Sanchez would love to have you join her and there's still time to register to volunteer at the event. Hundreds have signed up to work, but organizers say 1,000 more are needed to pick up trash at all 41 cleanup sites in Santa Clara County.
Plastic bottles and bags, fast food packaging, cigarette butts and other litter along Santa Clara County’s waterways is not only awful to look at, but it affects local creeks and streams as well, organizers said.
During the rainy season, this litter is swept off the roadways and into storm drains that flow directly to local waterways. This poses a threat to both the local habitat and water quality.
Also, when the accumulation of litter is paired with natural occurrences, such as broken tree limbs and erosion along creeks and streams, flood protection is decreased.
“Each year National River Cleanup Day provides the opportunity for people to come together to make a big impact,” said Santa Clara Valley Water District CEO Beau Goldie. “The amount of trash and debris that is collected and removed on this day improves the health and habitat of our local waterways year round.”
Last year, more than 1,100 volunteers at 45 sites across the county cleaned up more than 67 miles of waterways and picked up more than 2,700 pounds of recyclables and 21,000 pounds of trash – including a playhouse, a vacuum cleaner, a fire extinguisher, a fur coat, several bikes, a kid’s scooter, skis, two televisions, a car engine and a stuffed monkey.
For cleanup day, wear long pants, sturdy shoes and don't forget the sunscreen. Volunteers will need to bring their own pick-up sticks and all youth under the age of 18 will need be accompanied by an adult. Clean-up supplies and light refreshments will be provided.
To work along with Sanchez, just give her a call at 408-391-8725. More details about this event, call 408-265-2607, ext. 2739.