By Mayor Marsha McLean
Whether you are biking, walking or driving through Santa Clarita, you are likely to run into lush green fields for sports games, wildflowers blooming on hillsides or spot our City’s iconic oak trees. This abundance of beauty in our valley didn’t happen by accident. It has taken years of conservation efforts, events that encourage eco-friendly practices and the help of our local volunteers.
Your City Council is always looking for ways to create opportunities for the community to take part in our efforts toward a sustainable future. The City puts on events like the always-popular Earth Arbor Day Festival, where volunteers take part in the worldwide Earth Day efforts by planting trees and creating one of a kind pieces of art using trash carts.
As we look forward to the fall season, we are working hard to put together one of the best volunteer opportunities of the year. I am pleased to announce that this will be our 25th annual River Rally event. This is our chance to come together with neighbors and friends to clean a portion of the Santa Clara River, which is one of the last natural flowing river systems in Southern California. This is a huge milestone because this event has been part of our community since 1994, and since then, we have collected more than 445,000 pounds of trash from the Santa Clara River.
This year’s event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 21, beginning at 8 a.m. and promises to be bigger and better than ever. Volunteers will be given t-shirts that feature original artwork from this year’s River Rally T-shirt Design Contest. Local students were challenged to create and submit their artwork for a chance to be featured on the official event shirt. There will also be the Environmental Expo, a resource fair designed to educate residents about recycling, air quality, open space preservation and much more!
Volunteers who take part in the cleanup are encouraged to wear close-toed sturdy shoes, in addition to appropriate clothing that will protect you from sun exposure. It is crucial that you stay hydrated, and we ask that you bring an eco-friendly, reusable water bottle.
In the days leading up to the River Rally, I encourage you to connect with us by visiting GreenSantaClarita.com to view a full calendar of green events happening near you!
We can’t wait to see you at this year’s event. To participate, we require that all volunteers pre-register on SantaClaritaVolunteers.com. Volunteer registration is open now. If you have any questions, our City staff is here to help. You can get assistance by emailing [email protected] or by calling (661)-250-3708. Our friendly staff will be there to assist you — from registration to orientation. I’ll see you at the River Rally!