Great Sierra cleanup event set for Sept. 21Free Access

The Great Sierra River Cleanup is slated for Saturday, Sept. 21 at both the Mariposa Creek Parkway at the Arts Park, as well as the Merced River.

Cleanups begin at 9 a.m. and last until noon. For the parkway location, people should meet at the Arts Park stage picnic table beginning at 8:45 a.m. For the Merced River location, meet at 9 a.m. at the Briceburg Visitors Center located approximately 15 miles east of Mariposa on Highway 140.

Breakfast snacks and water will be provided. Volunteers will converge on the cleanup sites to remove dried vegetation, broken bottles and other debris. Trash bags, recycle bags and plastic gloves will be provided. Volunteers are asked to bring rakes, brooms, garbage pickers and any other tools available.

This year, there will be a cleanup after party at the Mariposa County Arts Park from noon to 3 p.m. Food and cold beverages will be provided, as well as live music. Prizes will be awarded for cleanup categories, such as most trash picked up, most cigarette butts and strangest item(s) collected.

This is a region-wide, volunteer event focused on removing trash and restoring the health of waterways throughout the Sierra Nevada region. The event is part of the Great Sierra River Cleanup that is taking place on rivers throughout the Sierra region; which, in turn, is part of the California-wide Coastal Cleanup Day.

It is the largest volunteer effort in the state.

“We encourage school, church and other groups to come and join us,” says Tara Schiff, one of the event organizers.

Nancy Fluharty, another organizer, added, “Once again, we thank you for your participation! We look forward to seeing you at the Great Sierra River Cleanup.”

The local efforts are sponsored and organized by Mariposa County, the Upper Merced River Watershed, Sierra Nevada Conservancy and Sierra Foothill Conservancy.

Volunteers are encouraged to pre-register to take part. To register for the Mariposa Creek Parkway, contact Schiff at (209) 742-1214 or tschiff@mariposacounty.org. To register for the Merced River cleanup, contact Allyson Brooks at (209) 742-5556 or allyson@sierrafoothill.org.

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