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Earth Day means American River canyon cleanup and more

Organizers put out the call for 200 volunteers April 16
By: Journal Staff Report
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Earth Day April 16 will be marked in the Auburn State Recreation Area with a cleanup and restoration blitz. Several projects are on tap, with the aid of grants from the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Home Depot Foundation. Volunteers of all ages will be cleaning up trash and debris along North and Middle Fork American River canyons, as well as the sides of several roads and trails. A graffiti crew will be painting over a winter’s worth of vandalism. Native trees will be planted around restrooms and parking areas at the American River confluence. To register as a volunteer, call the Earth Day hotline at 1-888-98-PARKS or visit calparks.org. Space is limited, so registration is required. Check-in time for volunteers is 8:30 a.m. The work will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meeting place is at the Old Foresthill Road Bridge, near the confluence of the north and middle forks and about 2 miles south of the city on Highway 49. Organizers say 200 volunteers are needed for the Auburn State Recreation Area effort. Volunteers are advised to bring filled water bottles, sunscreen, hats, garden gloves and – if available – a bucket. Buckets are a nod to sustainability, so that volunteers won’t need as many bags for trash pickup. The Auburn State Recreation Area work is part of the California State Parks Foundation’s 14th annual Earth Day improvement project across the state. This year’s Earth Day will mark the 10th year PG&E has been a sponsor. Media sponsors include the Auburn Journal. Parking fees will be waived for Earth Day volunteers, although most of the confluence already offers free parking. – Gus Thomson