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Site tagged for clean up

Where Scotchman’s Creek enters the South Yuba River, ferns sprout from rock walls, waterfalls spill over rocks into deep pools darting with trout – and graffiti glares for one-quarter mile.

Graffiti memorializing a Nevada skateboarder who died last year will be removed from river rocks from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday as part of the third annual Yuba River Restoration Day, organized by the South Yuba River Citizens League.

The largest piece of graffiti stretches 5-feet tall and 10-feet long, spelling out “r.i.p. Josh” in blue letters.



“That alone is going to take a gallon of graffiti remover,” said Joel Passovoy, an Americorps member and biologist working as a river monitoring assistant and volunteer coordinator for SYRCL.

He has been organizing the cleanup this year that will coincide with nationally recognized Americorps Week.




The area is about a mile upriver from where the United States Forest Service recently closed Keleher Park because of problems with trespassing on private property, graffiti and trash. The area was a popular respite in the summer months for people from as far away as Reno.

Alternative solutions

Passovoy has been in contact with the friends of Josh M. Klinger, who was 19 when he died in a skate boarding accident on May 3, 2006.

“His best friend says this was a place he liked to come,” Passovoy said. The friend told Passovoy he didn’t write on the river rocks with a can of spray paint, and the culprits who scrawled more than 100 different graffiti messages have not come forward.

Passovoy is looking into other ways for Klinger’s friends to express their grief, and is trying to work out a deal with the Forest Service to dedicate a bench in his honor at Gold Quartz campground three miles up the road from Keleher.

“They want to leave a mark for their friend. They’re young and impassioned and in pain,” Passovoy said.

Elbow grease

SYRCL will team up with California State Parks, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service during the cleanup at various points along the river.

Trails will be restored at Hoyt’s Crossing. Invasive plant species including Himalayan blackberry and star thistle will be removed at South Fork Yuba River at Bridgeport.

Volunteers at Scotchman’s Creek will use a soy-based, nontoxic, biodegradable graffiti remover and catch the mess with sponges and newspapers. Able-bodied volunteers trek up and down a rough path and scale up rocky perches along the picturesque creek to get to many graffiti. Several spots will require standing in water.

“We’re going to send the young and strong,” Passovoy said.

Volunteers can sign up by contacting Noel Kroeplin at 265-5961 ext. 213 or noel@syrcl.org.

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To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail laurab@theunion .com or call 477-4231.

How to help

To sign up for the yearly Yuba River Restoration Day cleanup on the South Fork Yuba River, contact Noel Kroeplin at 265-5961 ext. 213 or noel@syrcl.org. Some tools, lunch and water will be provided.


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