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Let’s all go to the river

Live from City Hall

Posted: August 30, 2008 9:42 p.m.
Updated: November 1, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Santa Clara River is a part of of Santa Clarita in more ways than one.

While providing a home to many species of plants and animals, the river also annually brings together thousands of volunteers who dedicate their time to ridding it of trash and debris. This year marks the 14th annual Santa Clarita River Rally Cleanup and Environmental Expo.

This event will be held on Sept. 20, from 8 to 11 a.m. It will take place off the Via Princessa Bridge and Wiley Canyon Road. The river cleanup will involve removing trash from the Santa Clara River, the last natural river in Southern California.

Since 1994, the city has hosted the annual river rally, which attracts thousands of Santa Clarita residents who volunteer and participate. To date, more than 270,000 pounds of trash and debris have been removed from the river and its tributaries.

The city’s river cleanup is an excellent volunteer experience for clubs, organizations, students, scout troops, and entire families to help preserve our local river’s natural beauty and variety of wildlife. Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Pre-registration is not needed to attend the River Rally, but is available online at

Participants will be provided gloves, collection bags and refreshments. The first 1,500 volunteers will receive a commemorative giveaway.

In addition to the river cleanup, there will be an Environmental Expo at which  visitors can learn about recycling, air quality, pollution prevention, water quality, open space preservation and wildlife conservation.The Expo will feature more than 20 exhibitors and sponsors.

For the first time, the River Rally will offer a free bike valet service provided courtesy of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Volunteers should wear sturdy closed-toe shoes, appropriate clothing for walking in the riverbed and plenty of sunscreen. Animals are not permitted on site during the River Rally Cleanup.

The Santa Clara River’s hundred miles of water runs straight through the heart of the Santa Clarita Valley from Acton, east to the Pacific Ocean.

The river is home to several rare species, including the unarmored three spine stickleback and tidewater goby, both small fish.

The estuary is also home to the western snowy plover and the least tern, both small birds, all federally listed as endangered species.

In total, 14 bird species and six plant species residing in or near the river are listed as endangered or of special concern.

It is important for us, as residents of Santa Clarita, to preserve the quality and well-being of the Santa Clara River to ensure a long and continued life of theses endangered animals.

In addition, the Santa Clara River contains 57 archeological sites and 12 historical landmarks that are additionally precious.

It is very important for community members to help preserve the river’s natural beauty and variety of wildlife.

Everyone is encouraged to join in cleaning up a portion of the Santa Clara River at the 14th annual River Rally Cleanup and Environmental Expo.

For more information on the River Rally, go to /environment, contact the city’s Environmental Services Division at (661) 286-4098, or send an e-mail to

Frank Ferry is a Santa Clarita City Councilman. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. “Live from City Hall” is a column provided to The Signal by the city of Santa Clarita.


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