October 8, 2008

Conservancy to Join Coastal Cleanup

REDLANDS - Since 1985, 673,013 forks, knives and spoons have been picked up from the California coast and inland watersheds during the annual California Coastal Cleanup Day.

On Saturday, Oct. 11, the Redlands Conservancy will join the Coastal Cleanup effort as it presents the final Trails at 10 event for the fall series, and will participate with Trails4All to clean up one of the Pacific Ocean's inland watershed regions, the San Timoteo Creek Trail.

"Every one of the watersheds that contribute to the Santa Ana River has an impact on the Southern California coast," said Jim Meyer, director of Trails4All in Orange County. Meyer coordinates all the Southern California volunteer cleanup efforts, and reported that on Sept. 20, this year's official cleanup day, 2,771 volunteers in 24 communities collected 55,323 pounds of trash and 7,063 pounds of recyclables over a span of 64.25 miles.

The Redlands Conservancy postponed its participation in the cleanup until October to avoid the hot weather. The final Trails at 10 event for the fall series seemed like a natural connection.

"We hope to have 75 people participate in the cleanup along San Timoteo Creek," said Sherli Leonard, executive director of the Redlands Conservancy, adding that this season's first two events have drawn at least that many people. "This will be our first time to participate in the California Coastal Cleanup Day."

The statewide event is presented by the California Coastal Commission and Whole Foods Market and has become the state's premier volunteer event, according to Eben Schwartz, outreach manager for the California Coastal Commission.

All participants will be provided with gloves, bags and T- shirts, and will receive explicit instructions for safe cleanup activities.

In addition, the Conservancy will provide water-bottle refills and a free lunch for the first 75 registrants. Representatives from the REI Store of Rancho Cucamonga will be on site to provide materials and information.

According to Leonard, the stretch of trail along San Timoteo Creek is trail No. 6 of the Redlands Heritage Trails Alliance, although it has not been officially opened, as it is still part of the San Bernardino County Flood Control system.

"We obtained a special permit to use the trail for this event," Leonard said Conservancy hopes to arrange an agreement between San Bernardino County and the city of Redlands to take over the trail.

Staging will be at 10 a.m. in a large lot on the west side of San Timoteo Canyon Road, between the creek and the railroad tracks. Participants are encouraged to be cautious as they negotiate the turn into the lot from the busy road.

After a brief orientation, participants will move across the road and cover the trail area east of San Timoteo Canyon Road. Trash and recyclables will be collected separately, and all retrieved materials will be collected and weighed.

According to the media advisory, in last year's cleanup day, 61,122 volunteers collected nearly 1 million pounds of trash and recyclables from more than 2,400 miles of shoreline.

This Trails at 10 event is free and open to the public.

Information: (909) 792-1800 or www.redlandsconservancy.org

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