Each fall, we see more than a thousand Santa Clarita residents dedicate their morning to making our city a cleaner, healthier place. Volunteering for the popular River Rally event has become a tradition for many families, neighborhoods and local organizations. Not only does it benefit our local environment, but volunteering is also an enriching experience that allows you to build connections and have fun!
Now is the time to sign up to volunteer at the 28th Annual River Rally Cleanup and Environmental Expo coming up on Saturday, Sept. 16. This event will take place at the Newhall Community Center (22421 Market St.) and it is a fun opportunity to clean up trash and debris from the Santa Clara River with your friends and family.
The River Rally is not only a great volunteering opportunity, but also it is extremely important in helping maintain the riverbed. The Santa Clara River faces a significant challenge due to the direct flow of potential debris from the surrounding storm drain system. When streets are littered, this debris eventually makes its way into the riverbed, causing a detrimental impact to its biological health. You would be surprised to hear about some of the items volunteers have discovered in the riverbed. Of course, there is plenty of trash – like bottles, cans and bags, but they have also removed shopping carts and even a basketball hoop!
To participate in this year’s River Rally, all volunteers must pre-register. Head over to GreenSantaClarita.com for complete information regarding this event and the link to the registration portal. Wear comfy, closed-toe shoes and gear up in clothes to tackle the trash and debris in the riverbed. Don’t forget sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the elements!
I cannot stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated out there. A water refill station will be provided by SCV Water, so we kindly request volunteers bring a reusable water bottle from home to not only stay hydrated, but minimize waste, as well.
Make a day out of the River Rally! Participants are encouraged to carpool, walk, ride public transportation or bike on one of our many beautiful trails that lead to the Newhall Community Center event site. A free bike valet will be provided by Incycle for the duration of the event so cyclists can have a safe place to store their bikes while volunteering.
Before or after your volunteering adventure, engage in educational discussions and receive material from both past and new exhibitors at the Environmental Expo. Take some time to explore these exhibitors throughout the multi-purpose room, where nearly two dozen booths featuring nonprofits, community groups and governmental organizations will be available. They will offer valuable tips on conserving our local watershed, pollution prevention, recycling and you can even visit some live animals!
We are extremely grateful for the support and commitment of our volunteers who have joined us in previous years. We value their dedication to the cause, and we invite both new and returning volunteers to join us for this year’s event. It will not only be rewarding, but also a lot of fun! Together, we can continue to make a positive difference within our city, preserving the Santa Clara River’s natural beauty and protecting its ecosystem for future generations.
To learn more about the Santa Clara River, the River Rally and additional ways to help keep Santa Clarita looking beautiful, please visit GreenSantaClarita.com. If you have inquiries regarding volunteer registration specifically, or volunteering with the city in general, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected]. We cannot wait to see you at the 28th Annual River Rally Cleanup and Environmental Expo!
Mayor Jason Gibbs is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].