Tonto National Forest seeks volunteers for Salt River clean-up

Release Date: Feb 6, 2013  

Mesa Ranger District, Sat. Feb. 16

Mesa, Ariz. (February 6, 2013) – Every year thousands of visitors come to the Tonto National Forest to enjoy a variety of recreation activities throughout the forest. When some leave, however, their trash stays behind.  A large portion of this trash collects in recreational areas and within the Salt River.

To help restore the Lower Salt River to a cleaner and more enjoyable state, Tonto National Forest employees, in cooperation with Salt River Tubing and Recreation employees, are hosting the annual Lower Salt River clean-up on Saturday, Feb. 16, 9 am – noon.

“At this time of year, the water is low enough for volunteers to remove trash from the river bank and even from the bottom of the river in some areas,” said Mesa District Ranger Gary Hanna, “What we need are volunteers to come and help clean up the trash that is normally inaccessible due to higher waters other times of the year.” 

Registration for the event will take place online at Volunteers for Outdoor AZ (VOAZ) website .  Volunteers will meet at the Blue Point Recreation Site, 8:00 - 9:00 a.m for sign-in. The clean-up will begin directly after the sign-in is finished and will continue until about noon.

Tonto daily passes are not required for participation in this event, and trash bags will be provided. The majority of the clean-up will be taking place in the river bed near water, so participants must wear closed-toe, rubber soled shoes that can be worn in rocky terrain. Participants are encouraged to wear sunscreen, hats, gloves, and to bring trash pickers if available. Participants are also urged to bring plenty of water.

“This is a chance for the public to become actively involved in preserving these recreation areas for future generations to enjoy,” said Hanna “With the support of the many hard-working volunteers who are willing to donate their time we can begin to restore the Lower Salt River.”

For more information about the event go to Mesa Ranger District Volunteers website or send an email to MRDvolunteer@yahoo.com.