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.
On Saturday, September 17, over seventy volunteers made the 36th Annual SLV River & Road Clean Up a major success, removing over 3,300 pounds of debris along the River, its creeks, and nearby roads.
From age 3 to 80, brave volunteers clambered down embankments, walked and waded for hours, filling bags with recyclables or trash and dragging filthy objects to the collection sites. Valley Women’s Club and Save Our Shores volunteers weighed and counted items and prepared the materials for the County’s energetic workers to load into trucks and deliver them to the Ben Lomond Transfer Station later in the day. They enjoyed a perfect morning for the daunting task, just before the Sunday rain.
The Valley Women’s Club has organized the annual cleanup event since 1986, supported by Santa Cruz County and the SLV Water District. Eleven years ago, Save Our Shores decided to bring its Coastal Clean Up further up the San Lorenzo River, and the non-profit organizations soon began working together.
In Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, and Felton, piles grew as large amounts of plastic, hundreds of cigarette butts, and household appliances (toaster oven and water heater included) were collected. By the end of the day, over fifty huge black bags filled with refuse and some hefty metal objects were hauled in by volunteers.
In Felton, early arrivers joined Save Our Shores’ site “Captain” (and SLV Rotary Member) Linda Deal and Valley Women’s Club Environmental Committee member Brackin Andrews. They ran the Covered Bridge sign-in/weigh-in site. SLV Rotary members proudly brought up heavy items they found bogged down in the River. Other hardy volunteers went up San Lorenzo Rd. to a steep-embankment dumpsite, up by the Quarry, where people illegally dumped piles of filthy items. They filled a large pickup truck and doubled the size of Felton’s haul.
In Ben Lomond, families and individuals laboriously filled bags with hundreds of cigarette butts and litter carelessly discarded along the town’s streets and the River. Those smaller items cause severe harm to wildlife. Site Captain Jasmine Paredes and helper Sarah Bartos were delighted by the turnout.
In Boulder Creek, a few dozen volunteers, including ten youngsters, scoured Junction Park, several sections of the River, and the turnouts on Hwy 9. The materials they found were brought to the collection site behind The Mat - Boulder Creek Laundry, staffed by Boulder Creek SOS Captain Inabel Uytiepo and her husband, O’Keefe Madora. The mountain of trash included a water heater, tires, a blue plastic baby bathtub, and at least twelve large bags of mostly CRV beverage containers – back to being litter since the Boulder Creek and Felton recycling centers closed.
“Each resident of the San Lorenzo Valley can help make everyday River & Road Clean Up Day by removing the trash from along their road frontage or from the pull-outs along Highway 9 and other major roads. Take the time to pick up litter to protect our waterways and wildlife from cigarette butts, plastics, and other contamination,” urged Environmental Committee Chair Nancy Macy. “Everyone can help protect the watershed year-round.”