The Environmental Committee works to protect the watershed and to educate the public on forestry issues, erosion control, hazardous waste, recycling, and other issues. We also monitor government policies and procedures.
PG&E is a high priority for the Environmental Committee due to its massive and destructive felling of trees to prevent wildfires when unsafe, unreliable, antiquated equipment is the fundamental cause of the fires. From working on legislation and a new Franchise Agreement for PG&E in the County to in-depth research and analysis to support work with agencies affecting PG&E and helping folks protect their trees from PG&E’s contractors, this keeps the group busy. We work with a State-wide Utility Wildfire Prevention Taskforce on these issues.
Your help is needed.
Visit https://endpowerlinefires.com for more information.
River & Road Clean Up
with Save Our Shores
Annual Environmental Town Hall
Felton Community Hall
First Saturday of the month
Second Saturday if the first Saturday is a holiday weekend.
10:30 am at VWC Office at Highlands Park Senior Center
On Zoom and in-person. Email for Zoom info.
Meetings are open to the public.
Call 338-6578 or email for information.
By Kristin Sandel, Environmental Committee of the VWC
The Valley Women’s Club has a long history of environmental stewardship, including nearly 37 years of the Annual SLV River & Road Clean Up, which the VWC has organized since the event’s founding in 1986, with support from the SLV Water District and Santa Cruz County. In protecting our watersheds, streams, and rivers, the VWC partners with many community members and non-profit organizations such as Save Our Shores. Over more than three decades, club and community volunteers, including seniors, students, and families, have safely removed and disposed of tens of thousands of pounds of trash, household objects, hazardous and toxic materials, recyclables, and other items from the San Lorenzo River riparian corridor. It’s a yearly community event we can all be proud of.
This month, Sally-Christine Rodgers, founder and lead organizer of Trash Talkers, a new environmental coalition focusing on litter and illegal dumping in Santa Cruz County, presented to the VWC Environmental Committee at our May meeting. The following short article from Trash Talkers introduces her important work and the many agencies, organizations, and individuals supporting it.
“Our Santa Cruz County communities spend tens of thousands of dollars a year in labor costs cleaning up litter. Litter has a negative impact on residents, visitors, and our human psyche. Trash is an environmental and human health hazard, adversely affecting our economies. Discarded items, litter, and illegal dumping wash into our watersheds, degrade irreplaceable habitats, and threaten our oceans.
While many organizations and governmental entities have been addressing this issue independently, we need county-wide coordination. The Trash Talkers is a coalition of agencies collaborating for the first time to address the problems of litter, illegal dumping, and trash resulting from encampments in Santa Cruz County.
Our members to date include:
Trash Talkers have identified hot spots and coordinated clean-ups for the past year. We’ve created a mission statement, a logo, and a website – www.pitchinsantacruz.org (scheduled to go live this spring) –hosted by the County of Santa Cruz. All County Supervisors endorse this county-wide initiative.
The County Department of Community Development and Infrastructure is rolling out the Pitch In logo sign campaign. It will be posted on trash cans, at trailheads, parks, METRO stops, beaches, and other locations. We are working with the City of Scotts Valley to do the same.
We want to invite Valley Women’s Club of San Lorenzo Valley members to support and participate in using the Pitch In logo as an outreach and educational tool, by highlighting the Pitch In logo in your newsletters, on your website, and by putting it in visible places at your members’ business locations. The promotion will further the impact of educating our community to ‘pitch in’ and collectively do their part to clean up the San Lorenzo Valley. The Valley Women’s Club of San Lorenzo Valley’s support and endorsement is critical to the success of this effort.
‘Scoop Your Poop’ was a successful slogan that became a behavioral change for dog owners. The Trash Talkers Pitch In logo, supported by VWC members, will be part of a massive marketing campaign to provide a recurring reminder to all residents and visitors to our area to participate in a ‘Clean San Lorenzo Valley.’ Please join us!”