Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner

Volunteers from the Valley Women’s Club, as well as members of SLV CORE spent the day of Saturday, Sept. 20 hauling thousands of pounds of garbage and recyclables from the rivers and roads of the San Lorenzo Valley in Felton, Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek and Lompico.
While the Valley Women’s Club’s cleanup event and SLV CORE’s event are separate, both are allied with Santa Cruz-based Save Our Shores’ Coastal Cleanup Day.
“It went very well a lot of people showed up,” said David Wright, director of the VWC’s SLV Redemption and Recycling Centers.
According to Wright, the VWC’s event drew more than 100 people at four different sites — Lompico, Felton, Ben Lomond, and Boulder Creek.
The volunteers hauled away 4 tons of trash and recycling, he said, in large trucks offered for use by Santa Cruz County and the San Lorenzo Valley Water District.
“That cooperation was real good,” Wright said. “There were a lot of shopping carts, mattresses, and couches.”
Saturday morning, approximately 36 volunteers from SLV CORE arrived at Felton Covered Bridge Park, where they proceeded to remove 1,000 pounds of trash and 260 pounds of recyclables.
Beth Hollenbeck, one of the organizers of the event, said that she was impressed by the number of teenagers and children who arrived to volunteer.
“It’s really spread over the years,” she said. “It’s been amazing how many people are still coming to the covered bridge — I’d say it was one of our biggest turnouts for teenagers.”
Hollenbeck said that SLV CORE has worked alongside Save Our Shores for 7 years, adding that cleaning the rivers is essential to keeping the California coastline clean.
“We have a tremendous responsibility up here,” she said. “In the rivers (trash is) hidden and it can go undetected for a whole year.”
Although Hollenbeck said that the banks of the San Lorenzo River were devoid of the tangled plastic grocery bags of years past, large collections of trash alongside the river were depressingly commonplace.
“People are just dumping their garbage alongside the river,” she said. “It looks like someone just dumped the back of their truck out.”

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