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SYRCL cleanup celebration canceled: Ongoing efforts to be announced within days

Fran Murphy, SYRCL board member, signs up a Yuba River cleanup participant at Bridgeport Bridge before the cleanup was called off. The 25th Annual Yuba River Cleanup was set for Saturday. Melinda Booth, SYRCL’s executive director, made the announcement at the Bridgeport Wooden Bridge canceling the Yuba River Community Cleanup and Volunteer Appreciation Party at Bridgeport because of the extremely hazardous air quality conditions that morning.
John Hart

This past Saturday was supposed to serve as the culmination of the South Yuba River Citizens League’s Yuba River Cleanup. However, Mother Nature had other plans in store.

Like a number of other recent local events, the finale of the cleanup effort was canceled due to dangerous air quality caused by the Mosquito Fire burning near Foresthill.

In addition to continuing the cleanup, Saturday’s event was to have included a “thank you” celebration for volunteers with food, live music, and a beer garden.



“It was a really tough decision with the AQI,” said Maddie Davis, community engagement manager for SYRCL. “We were considering it, it was looking good and we wanted to push forward, but we realized it was hazardous.

“It felt like when we saw the lack of visibility and hazardous numbers, we wanted to make the decision that would be best for our community and staff. It was a disappointing circumstance for everyone involved, but yes — health and safety come first.”



Despite the cancellation of an event intended not only to serve as a cleanup but to honor the volunteers who had participated in the week-long efforts, SYRCL still reported that one-and-a-half dumpsters had been filled by efforts made earlier in the week.

“We had to cancel but still had a great turnout (during the week),” Davis said.

Although the project wasn’t a total loss, Davis added that SYRCL would be meeting in coming days to organize other efforts for the next few weeks, and will announce those volunteer opportunities this week. Official reports of the total number of debris and litter collected will be provided by the end of next week.

SYRCL’s annual cleanup — which was celebrating its 25th anniversary this year — also serves as a fundraising opportunity for the nonprofit organization, which is committed to the protection, preservation, and restoration of the entire Yuba Watershed.

Pending the announcement of added cleanup days, volunteers are encouraged to engage in self-guided cleanups along local waterways. Self-guided participants will be asked to visit SYRCL’s office in Nevada City to pick up supplies such as trash bags, gloves, and a data card.

Davis noted that SYRCL is grateful not only to the community but to the firefighters working to battle the Mosquito Fire, and reminded the public that this Saturday is National Public Lands Day.

South Yuba River Citizens League is at 313 Railroad Ave., Suite 101, in Nevada City. For more information, visit http://www.yubariver.org or call 530-265-5961.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer with The Union. She can be contacted at jnobles@theunion.com

Family and employees of UNFI, a Rocklin food distributor, helped clean up despite the air quality conditions.
John Hart

 

SYRCL’s annual cleanup — which was celebrating its 25th anniversary this year — also serves as a fundraising opportunity for the nonprofit organization, which is committed to the protection, preservation, and restoration of the entire Yuba Watershed.
John Hart

 

The cleanup was canceled, but some people signed a waiver to clean up in the bad air.
John Hart

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