In an effort to restore the Truckee River watershed and beautify the community, more than 750 volunteers in Reno-Sparks attended the October 13 Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB) Truckee River Cleanup Day.
Gathering at 22 local sites to help pick up trash, remove invasive weeds, and stencil storm drains, community members properly disposed of more than 24,000 pounds of trash and 108,800 pounds of green waste and invasive weeds. Two pounds of seeds were planted, 324 storm drains were stenciled, and 67 tires were removed.
“This is one of our biggest cleanups each year, and it is always amazing to see our community come together to help protect this wonderful resource, the Truckee River, that runs right through the heart of the Truckee Meadows,” stated KTMB’s Executive Director Christi Cakiroglu.
In the Sparks area, 21 volunteers helped clean up Glendale, 49 volunteers went to Cottonwood, 70 volunteers went to Rock Park, and 12 people showed up to Wildcreek- parks that directly impact the Truckee River Watershed. While most people showed up to Rock Park, the scene at Wildcreek was most disheartening.
“Rock Park is a big site, and the City does a great job in helping us- they came out with a huge trash compactor,” says KTMB Program Manager Lorian McConnell. Volunteers removed 20 bags of trash at Rock Park and 39 bags at Cottonwood, but at Wildcreek community members dislodged a couch that was blocking a Truckee River tributary and 14 tires.
“It’s unfortunate that people use that Wildcreek is used to illegally dump items. That is why we encourage people to call 775-329-DUMP when they notice it,” McConnell says.
Fortunately, there are good people in Reno-Sparks who are willing to come out and volunteer their time to fix the environment and make it habitable for the local flora and fauna while also making it a nicer place to recreate.
“It feels good to see our volunteers come out and it’s fun to meet other people who are likeminded in wanting to take care of their community- it’s heartwarming to see,” McConnell adds. Local partners who support this program include the City of Sparks, Great Basin Brewing Company, and Washoe County.
KTMB is hosting its annual Christmas Tree Recycling program from December 26-January 7 where people are encouraged to discard their tree at the Shadow Mountain Sports Complex (3300 Sparks Boulevard).
“Since trees provide a fire hazard, this is a great way to dispose of them and then we can chip them up and use them to beautify the parks in Sparks,” says McConnell.
For more information about Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful and its programs, visit https://ktmb.org/.