The Santa Clara River bed is home to a diverse and natural habitat that Santa Clarita can be proud of. Unfortunately, it has become a home to trash and debris that wash into the bed when it rains.
In order to bring back the Santa Clara River’s natural beauty, the city of Santa Clarita hosted its 23rd Annual River Rally. Around 1,400 people came out with trash bags in hand to revert the river bed to a closer state that mankind found it.
“This is an event that people look forward to, they know that they are doing something good for the community,” said Laura Jardine, project technician with the city.
The volunteers focused on cleaning up the Canyon Country portion of the river bed.
Canyon High School’s environmental club, Eco-Chicos, brought a total of 120 students to volunteer at the event and help clean up the Santa Clarita River bed.
The event was not just about cleaning the river bed though. Educating SCV residents about the environment in ways they can be sustainable was also a goal.
As a result, a large tent was set up next to the river bed for the city to hold an Environmental Expo. Some 20 vendors, ranging from water companies to trash haulers, were present to educate attendees and give away items.
Some residents were especially enthusiastic to get the opportunity to apply what they have learned about the environment in a real-world setting. One such person was 15-year-old Sofia Washington, who came out with her father, Peter.
Sofia has been taking an Advanced Placement Environmental Science class in school, which inspired her to attend the River Rally for her first time.
“Plastic doesn’t decay so when it goes out into the ocean, there’s a possibility for animals to eat it and they can possibly die,” she said.
Sofia hopes this will not be her last time at the River Rally. Although, she would have to go another 22 years to match the amount of times City Councilwoman Marsha McLean has attended.
McLean has attended the event every year since it started and even considers herself an early pioneer of the rally.
“I’ve just come every single year,” said McLean. “It is so important to be able to clean up the trash.”