In the same way rainfall brings new growth, the new year brings a full roster of green events and programs that encourage Santa Clarita residents to live more sustainably. Green Santa Clarita is the public-facing branch of the city’s Environmental Services team that develops outreach campaigns, executes environmental programs and puts on family-friendly annual events.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, this year’s lineup is just as exciting! Whether you are preventing river “poo-lution” with tips from our pet waste campaign or sprucing up your yard with free mulch, our friends at Green Santa Clarita have you covered.
Do you ever find old used electronics, paint and chemicals lying around the house? Be on the lookout for a drive-thru Household Hazardous Waste and e-waste event on Saturday, April 9, at the College of the Canyons Valencia campus. This popular event happens multiple times a year and attracted more than 2,400 vehicles during the summer and fall collection events last year. You can visit GreenSantaClarita.com to see a full list of acceptable items and safety precautions for the collection event.
To celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day, the Neighborhood Clean-Up event will also take place on Saturday, April 9, giving residents the opportunity to clean up litter in their neighborhoods. Participants can pre-register online and receive information in addition to safety guidelines. On the day of the event, between 8 and 10 a.m., participants can visit Central Park, the Newhall Community Center or the new Canyon Country Community Center to pick up cleaning supplies and a free bag of mulch. We are excited to bring back this event that not only brings our residents together but also gives them an opportunity to take an active role in preserving the beauty of Santa Clarita.
Things will begin to gear up as the city’s Bike to Work Challenge returns from May 16 to 20, when residents can take the online pledge and ride their bikes to work for prizes. The citywide challenge will span the course of five days, giving residents plenty of opportunities to enjoy a no-pollute commute to their workplace. Multiple pit stops throughout the city will also be available on Thursday, May 19, only. You can get started by taking the pledge online at GreenSantaClarita.com to be entered into a raffle for free prizes. If your business is registered to participate and has the most participation in their size category, you and your team can win a free lunch. We had 162 reported riders and 21 business teams participate in last year’s event, and we hope to see more this year!
The new year will close with our signature annual event, at which more than 1,200 volunteers collected 12,456 pounds of trash last year alone. The River Rally and Environmental Expo will return on Saturday, Sept. 17. This well-known volunteer opportunity brings hundreds of residents together to clean up the Santa Clara riverbed. The River Rally is followed by an Environmental Expo featuring booths from local organizations that provide the tools and resources for residents to live a greener life. Stay tuned for event details and volunteer information when they become available online later this year.
Despite the ongoing uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, our community continues to come together to raise environmental awareness by taking part in the city’s green events and programs. I hope you encourage your friends and family to take advantage of every green opportunity that comes your way. To learn more about the city’s Environmental Services team, please visit GreenSantaClarita.com and don’t forget to connect with Green Santa Clarita on Facebook @GreenSantaClarita.
Jason Gibbs is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].