Los Gatos Creek Clean-up on National River Clean-up Day

By Chuck Hammerstad

On Saturday morning May 21, a volunteer group of Flycasters gathered at the casting ponds to clean-up the Flycasters adopted section of Los Gatos Creek.  The volunteers were Bob Meacham, Larry Mehringer, Judy and Shiz Nakawatase, Nhan Nguyen, Hunter Reid, Bob Shoberg, Dan Tjoa, organizer Mike Jamison and his son, Chris and myself.  Clean-up organizer, Mike, greeted us with donuts, coffee and water to “kick” start our morning.  After a short briefing by Mike, we divided into groups of two or three, picked supplies provided by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and headed out to our designated areas to start our clean-up.

Although we were instructed not to get in the creek, Chris Jamison managed to get his feet a little wet as we moved along the path and creeks edge, retrieving as much as we could from the creek.  We had separate bags for trash and recycle.  We all met back at the casting ponds by 12:00 noon for reports and debriefing.  Mike estimated we had picked up about 150 pounds of material – a good mornings work.  Judy and Shiz stayed to do some practice casting in the ponds.

Kate Slama, volunteer coordinator for the Santa Clara Valley Water District reported that combining all of the clean-up groups in Santa Clara County there were:

 1,129 volunteers

67.5 miles of creeks and waterways cleaned

21,211 pounds of trash removed

2,316 pounds of recyclables removed

Unusual items found this year included a plastic flamingo, corner of a $20 bill, crib, kid’s swimming pool, playhouse, vacuum cleaner, trailer hitch, car floor jack, fire extinguisher, fur coat, several bikes, two TV’s, skis, stuffed monkey, and Nissan car engine to name a few.  Also found at three sites was over 400 tennis balls, 100 pounds of nursery pots and 416 pieces of fishing line.  Bob Meacham and Chris Jamison found the vane structure of an old wind mill in the creek which was too heavy to move.

The Conservation Committee wishes to thank those who volunteered their time in a very successful clean-up.  We may do another clean-up on California Coastal Clean-up Day in the fall.

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