Caleb Dardick likes to recount one of his first tasks as the newly appointed executive director of the South Yuba River Citizens League.
“On my first day in this job (about two years ago), I came in Monday morning and Miriam (Limov, SYRCL volunteer coordinator) grabbed me at 9 a.m. and walked me off to KVMR and put me on the air to plug the River Cleanup,” Dardick told a gathering at SYRCL’s open house to celebrate its new digs on Railroad Avenue in Nevada City.
“So she’s telling me all the things I am supposed to say on the air, and I ask her, ‘Why do we have a river cleanup? Who would trash the river?’”
For those who include responsibility in their enjoyment of the South Yuba River and other regional water bodies, a sense of astonishment at people’s propensity to litter is natural.
Nevertheless, a select few do litter, and garbage does accumulate at several popular recreational sites in the region, leading SYRCL to conduct an annual River Cleanup & Restoration Day for the past 15 years.
The environmental advocacy organization has marshaled more than 6,800 volunteers, who have collected and removed about 146,000 pounds of garbage and recyclables from sites stretching from Van Norden Meadows on Donner Summit to the lower reaches of the Yuba River.
The 2013 incarnation of the annual event is slated to commence Sept. 21.
Limov, who coordinates the massive volunteer effort, said SYRCL still requires additional volunteers; about 300 people have signed up, and the organization needs about 600 people to man the 35 sites.
Past events have witnessed volunteers make the trek from as far away as Carson City, Nev., and San Francisco to help keep the most spectacular spots in western Nevada County pristine.
On Tuesday morning, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors heaped praise on Dardick and his team for leading the cleanup effort.
“I look at the Yuba as sort of the aorta of the county,” said Chairman Hank Weston during Tuesday’s regular meeting.
The board unanimously passed a resolution declaring Sept. 21 Yuba River Cleanup Day in Nevada County.
“It is the lifeblood that keeps pumping and pumping and pumping,” Weston said.
The late September event features a barbecue with live music, a fashion show and a stone-skipping contest at the Bridgeport Crossing of South Yuba River State Park.
The cleanup begins at 9 a.m. with the celebration to follow at noon.
A waiver form is required by each participant. People younger than 18 must have a signature from a parent or guardian.
Attendees are urged to wear closed-toe shoes, work clothes and gloves, sunscreen, bring an ample water supply and snacks, buckets for broken glass, trash bags and a plate, cup and silverware for the barbecue lunch.
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-477-4239.