By Ken Striplin, City Manager
Each year, the City of Santa Clarita hosts a wide variety of popular events, ranging from our long-running Santa Clarita Marathon to the upcoming River Rally. Behind each of these events, and the City’s many programs and projects is the work of our passionate and committed volunteers. With the help of these dedicated community members, we can offer fun and successful events for the community to enjoy.
On Sept. 21, we will host our 25th annual River Rally, where our residents come together to pick up litter and debris in a section of the Santa Clara River. Through this community event, we preserve the river’s natural beauty and protect the many wildlife species who make their home in the riverbed. This event is made possible with the help of hundreds of volunteers who come and dedicate their time to improve our community and contribute to preserving the environment.
Last year, 1,260 volunteers, ranging in age from three to 85, dedicated one morning to volunteer at the River Rally. Altogether, they worked a total of 3,752 hours, valued at over $100,000. To date, volunteers have collected more than 445,000 pounds of trash and debris from the Santa Clara River and its tributaries. River Rally is an excellent volunteer opportunity for families, scout troops, church and youth groups, school clubs and businesses.
Overall in 2018, the City had over 5,000 total volunteers who helped with City events, programs and projects. They contributed more than 51,000 hours, with a value of $1.5 million. The time they so generously give provides a significant benefit to our community -– but what do the volunteers get out of the experience?
Our Santa Clarita residents choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. Many want to gain experience, acquire new skills, meet new people or even expand their network of contacts and community base. Others simply want to give back to their community or spend some time with a friend while doing a worthwhile activity. Students can earn school credit for community service and studies have shown that volunteering is good for one’s health. Overall, people volunteer because it makes them feel good.
The City is always looking for people to help out and offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. To learn more about ways to volunteer at events in Santa Clarita, please visit SantaClaritaVolunteers.com or “like” Santa Clarita Volunteers on Facebook.
From events to programs, volunteers work together to help sustain the quality of life in Santa Clarita that we all enjoy. Thank you to everyone who volunteers in our City.