Hundreds of volunteers gathered today at the Santa Clarita Community Center to participate in the 12th annual River Rally; an event designed to clean up the
Santa Clara river bed.
Beginning at 8:00 o’clock this morning, volunteers and city officials flowed into the Community Center in Newhall, where they were handed a pair of gloves, a cup of coffee, and crash course in the biological aspects of the river bed they would soon be carousing. Amongst the stockpile of quickly filling trash bags, KHTS’ Jon Dell spoke with Mayor Laurene Weste, who lauded citizens for their dedication to the well being of Santa Clarita in a speech to launch the day’s activities.
After the speech, volunteers were led to a booth where they were given a biological breakdown of the river bed and its resident species so that everyone could not only clean the river bed, but also help to keep its natural condition intact. As Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean stated; "This is our last natural river. We are proud of it, and we intend to keep it beautiful!" After that, it was off to the river where trash of all varieties was spotted and picked up by the swarm of helping hands that swept down the river. After the trash was picked up, the volunteers had a chance to speak directly with sponsors of the event, and even pick up a free tree to plant in their own yards.
KHTS, broadcasting live from the River Rally, featured Santa Clarita’s Environmental Services Manager Travis Lange, who described the effort as "ongoing", with a different portion of the river bed being targeted each year. And Craig Doyle, Development Director for
Center was on hand to speak about environmentally conscious building designs that
Westfield is currently putting into practice.
The mixed demographic of helpers may have been the most profound testament to the issue’s importance in this community. The Saugus High School Key Club was on hand to direct walking traffic to and from stations, and a barrage of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts could be seen throughout the day, eagerly leading the way. In particular, Cub Scout pack 575 was on hand to earn their Civic Duty Requirement.
As the day came to an end it was clear that the effort here in Santa Clarita to be eco-friendly is as vast as it is vital. The "We Recycle" campaign partnered with KHTS, was launched well over a year ago, and has garnered a tremendous amount community involvement. Events like the River Rally have consistently gown, with last year’s volunteers numbering over 1,300 in force. And just as Santa Clarita understands its responsibility to the people, the people today have risen to meet their responsibility to this community. For more information on what you can do to help, visit the city’s website at www.santa-clarita.com, or tune in to KHTS.