Youth work to keep Yuba clean |

Youth work to keep Yuba clean

Snow Janes was a fifth-grader at Grass Valley Charter School last year when he participated in the annual Greater Yuba River Cleanup and Restoration Day, joining more than 700 volunteers – about one-third of them young people.

He hopes more western Nevada County youth will participate this year.

“If kids do small things to help the earth, it can make a really big difference,” he said.

It is set for Saturday, Sept. 25, in conjunction with the 2nd Annual Great Sierra River Cleanup, a program of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. Volunteers are asked to register this week (see box for details).

Clean-up and restoration projects along trails and waterways in the Yuba and Bear river watersheds in the morning will be followed by an afternoon of festivities at the South Yuba River State Park at Bridgeport.

School groups from Downieville to the Bear River, Girl and Boy Scouts, and church groups have participated in the past.

“If no one cleans it up, (trash) could go … to the ocean,” Janes said. “In the ocean, animals could get confused about the trash and eat it and die.”

“Volunteering for the river clean-up gives a fantastic feeling to me, knowing that I am helping my planet while having a great time with my friends,” said Spencer Sheppard, who has volunteered through the Bear River High School Key Club at the Bear River and Dog Bar sites.

More than 500,000 people each year visit the South Yuba River alone, leaving an enormous amount of litter over the summer months.

The South Yuba River Citizens League has spearheaded 12 years of river clean-ups in partnership with the California Coastal Commission’s Cleanup Day, the state’s and Nevada County’s largest volunteer event.

In that time, 4,800 volunteers have removed 120,000 pounds of trash and recyclable material, rebuilt trails and removed invasive species from Donner Summit to Parks Bar, covering more than 90 miles of riverbank.

Volunteers also can make a difference on the popular Grouse Ridge trails in the Tahoe National Forest on Sept. 18 during a pre-winter trail maintenance service project. Registration for this is also required.

Longtime Nevada County resident Miriam Limov is the RiverPeople Coordinator for the South Yuba River Citizens League.

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