Give back to the Salt River, Tonto forest - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Give back to the Salt River, Tonto forest

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Posted: Sunday, September 18, 2011 8:00 am

Every summer weekend, thousands of Arizonans flock to the Lower Salt River Recreation Area for fishing, hiking, tubing and other outdoor activities. But many leave their trash behind, creating an ugly, dangerous mess.

You can help restore this East Valley treasure back to its natural beauty by signing up for the 32nd Annual Salt River Clean-up from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 24. The event is hosted by the Mesa Ranger District of Tonto National Forest in celebration of National Public Lands Day.

"This is a great opportunity for those who truly love our forest to give back, helping us preserve this great recreation area for the future," District Ranger Art Wirtz said in a news release.

Volunteers should wear sunscreen, gloves, and closed-toe, rubber-soled shoes that can be worn in and around water. Most clean-up will be done on shore, but some efforts are needed on water, so those who have kayaks or rafts are encouraged to volunteer. Trash bags and parking for volunteers are free on clean-up day.

To volunteer, you can register online at www.mrdvolunteers.org/lsrcleanup.html, or in person at the Pebble Beach Recreation Site from 8 to 9 a.m. The clean-up begins after registration and continues until about noon when lunch and beverages will be provided free to volunteers.

For more information, contact Rocco Minetti at the Mesa Ranger District at (480) 610-3332 or email him at lsrcleanup@yahoo.com.

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