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News.bytes Extra, issue 504

National Public Lands Day – Long Canyon Cleanup

In honor of National Public Lands Day, the Palm Springs-South Coast BLM Field Office, in cooperation with the Community and Cultural Affairs Commission Trails Committee, the City of Desert Hot Springs, and Desert Valley Disposal, hosted a volunteer cleanup this past Saturday, Oct. 22 along Long Canyon Road near Desert Hot Springs. Long Canyon is adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park, and as such, is a gateway to the park. Volunteers from the CCAC Trails Committee, Desert Hot Springs High School’s Community Service Key Club, Painted Hills Middle School’s ASB Students, Girl Scout Troop 262, and other local volunteers helped BLM staff remove two 30-yard dumpsters worth of garbage from the canyon as well as one 10-yard container full of tires. (text continues below)

volunteers gather trash near a pile of filled orange trash bags
Volunteers gather more trash at a site, after filling a number of trash bags.

The day began with a welcome and an introduction to the site by BLM Volunteer Coordinator, Jennifer Taylor, who provided details on safety concerns and project assignments.  Camille Linde of the CCAC Trails Committee also gave a welcome and made sure everyone knew which people were BLM and CCAC staffs in case volunteers had any questions or concerns. Volunteers were made aware that cleaning up the area would not only benefit local wildlife by returning the area back to its natural setting, but the residents of the Coachella Valley will be able to enjoy this scenic canyon even more.

Armed with garbage bags, hand tools, and wheelbarrows, the volunteers set out to gather as much refuse as possible before time ran out.  The City of Desert Hot Springs donated the use of their front end loader and operator for the morning, and the operator drove non-stop along Long Canyon Rd, picking up piles that volunteers had stacked up for him.

Volunteers had plenty of work ahead of them, but there was also plenty of food and beverage to sustain the crews, including homemade brownies donated by one of the volunteers.  Everyone was in good spirits, and the day was made complete with volunteers receiving a NPLD T-shirt and Fee Free pass. Overall, 69 volunteers worked three hours, for a total of 207 volunteer hours.

trash and part of a couch litter the landscape

less litter on the ground, as a volunteer picks up more
One area starts to show the results of the cleanup.
 The area looks more scenic after most of the trash is cleaned up

-Jennifer Taylor wilderness/volunteer coordinator, BLM Palm Springs/South Coast Field Office, 10/26/11

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 504 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.

Last updated: 11-09-2011