By Joel Dibble
Thousands of people gathered across the country on Saturday, May 21, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of National River Cleanup Day. Volunteers gathered to keep their creeks and rivers clean, healthy and beautiful. They were joined by more than 1,000 volunteers from the Santa Clara County alone.
Throughout the month of May, 1,071 South Bay resident volunteers cleaned up 62 miles of creeks and rivers from Palo Alto to downtown San Jose to Gilroy at more than 60 locations, collecting 27,492 pounds of trash, 3,135 of which was recycled. Two local nonprofits in particular, Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful and the South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition, contributed to the effort.
Sixty-nine volunteers from Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful collected 200 bags of trash yielding 3.4 tons of materials (or three Fiat 500s) from Lone Bluff Park (near Capitol Expressway), including 1,300 pounds of metal and hazardous waste. Volunteers represented groups including employees from the City of San Jose and students from Silver Creek High School’s Interact Club.
Meanwhile, 153 volunteers from the South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition focused their efforts on the Los Gatos Creek at seven locations including the Willow Glen Trestle, Bascom Avenue and Auzerais Street bridges and collected nearly 3.45 tons of trash.
“We appreciate the numerous volunteers and coordinators who help us make a difference each year on National River Cleanup Day,” said Santa Clara Valley Water District Chief Operating Officer for Watersheds, Norma Camacho. “These volunteer efforts, coupled with the district’s ongoing efforts, make for a positive impact on our local waterways and environment.”
Volunteering at events like this helps to keep the natural parts of our county beautiful for everyone to enjoy. They also give volunteers an opportunity to meet new people, to get outside, and to volunteer in a stress-relieving, natural setting.
For more information or to join a future cleanup, contact any of the following organizations: