March 12, 2016 • Martha McLean Park
Waterkeeper staff, Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water employees, and community volunteers gathered at McLean Park to clean the trails along the Santa Ana River after a rain event earlier that week. Staff explained to young children the importance of staying away from waterways after rainstorm by using an interactive watershed diorama that demonstrates how stormwater is not filtered and toxic chemicals, litter, and bacteria enters the river and is eventually carried to the ocean.
By the end of the day, volunteers filled bags with debris including plastic wrappers, bottles, and nearly 50 spray paint cans from the trails along the Santa Ana River!
May 14, 2016 • Martha McLean Park
Arrowhead Brand Mountain Spring Water families took part in the national, Great American Cleanup at McLean Park in Riverside. Families cleaned the bike trail as they made their way to the Santa Ana River. Once at McLean Beach, Arrowhead Water employees learned about native and endangered flora and fauna as they headed into the riparian forest to clear it of litter and debris along the river bank.
Over twelve bags of diapers, food wrappers, and other litter were cleared from the site. A tire was also removed from the Santa Ana River! Thank you to all who participated in this national event dedicated to preserving our environment as well as our waterways!
June 18, 2016 • Mill Creek
Over thirty community volunteers and Arrowhead Brand Mountain Spring Water employees and their families took part in the Crest to Coast restoration of Mill Creek!
Over the past two years amazing volunteers and Arrowhead Water employees have contributed to the removal of heavy debris from culverts that hindered water flow. This visit back to Mill Creek showed how culverts remained relatively clear and how fish have returned as they were spotted for the first time since the beginning of Crest to Coast project in 2014!
Many community volunteers took to the trails to remove litter and other trash that has accumulated in the riparian vegetation since this past, wet winter. Hidden trails were covered in hundreds of pieces of Styrofoam, plastic bags, and other hazardous items.
We are very grateful for our dedicated project partners and volunteers who have contributed to the improvement of Mill Creek and its surrounding environment!
July 28, 2016 • Santa Ana River at McLean Beach
As part of our Crest to Coast project, Waterkeeper joined Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful and Santa Ana River Trust to clean a portion of riparian forest along the river. Rapid Trash Assessment results revealed conditions of a 100-foot stream reach was quite marginal. The presence of litter demonstrated just how popular the site is during the summer based on the abundance of scattered litter near the river.
Staff and volunteers went straight to work removing each piece of trash in sight. Some worked the banks of the river while others headed deep in to the trails near the trestle bridge. Tires, spray paint cans, chairs, and the large amounts of food containers and plastic wrappers were placed in to bags for removal.
Although plenty of bags filled with trash were removed from this popular recreational spot, some users very much appreciate this access to the river. Weeks prior to this event, our Stream Team noticed a few constructed bilingual signage asking users to take their trash with them. Thanks to the concerned citizens, we are working collaboratively on producing signage in English and Spanish at the entrance of this access point to the Santa Ana River for everyone to enjoy!