Alarm clocks rang early Saturday morning as hundreds of Santa Clarita residents rose to help clean the Santa Clara River. . .
Held in conjunction with National Pollution Prevention Week and California Coastal Cleanup Day, the SCV’s annual River Rally was held just east of Canyon Country Park and drew an estimated 1,500 people.
“I got here at 8 a.m., and I had to park way out,” said Canyon Country resident Dale Marino. “There were a lot of people.”
Parking was such an issue that, for more than a half mile, one lane of Soledad Canyon Road was entirely coned off to allow people to park along the street.
But even with the large number of people, there was still a lot of work, Marino said. “There was plenty for everybody to do.”
And because of recent flooding, there was more to do than usual, he said. “We (even) found lawnmowers.”
The city provided lunch, and a large tent was set up to house the Environmental Expo, where attendees could find informational booths focusing on air quality, recycling, pollution prevention, open space preservation, wildlife conservation and much more.
One tent close to the river bed entrance was erected to inform the volunteers about the river and how to react to the wildlife they might find.
“We’ve been contracted to (perform) biological services for the city of Santa Clarita,” said Niki Williams of PCR Services. “(We provide) biological awareness training for all the participants, just so they know what’s out there and how to react to wildlife, how to tread lightly on the river bed.”
The Santa Clarita Urban Forestry Division manned another booth where they gave away 1-gallon California Sycamores and provided information about trees and many of the Forestry’s services.
“What we want to promote is anything and everything to do with trees,” said Oak Tree Specialist Wayne Smith. “We want to promote proper tree care, proper tree maintenance, proper tree selection, proper contracting, things like that.”
Other organizations represented at the expo were the Santa Clarita Community Center, the California Wildlife Heritage Campaign, the Clean Air Congress and the Castaic Lake Water Agency.
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