LOIS HENRY: They came, they saw, they took out the trash | Lois Henry – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2021-09-18 18:38:00 –

The Kern River attracted a lot of love on this National Cleanup Day with two groups picking up trash along different sections of the river on Saturday.

In Bakersfield, about 40 volunteers from Bringback Khan, a non-profit organization that aims to keep the town flowing more regularly, cleaned up the trash under the bridge on Mohawk Street. This is the second year the group has participated in National Cleanup Day. Other cleanups along the river for Earth Day and other events. After an April event attended by Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh, the city spent $ 2 million on ongoing cleaning of the Khan River Park Way.

Saturday’s haul was packed with about 75 of the largest hefty bags, and there were many bulky items that couldn’t be put in the bags, said Khan’s riverbed cleanup organizer, Kerida Mian.

“Some of it was scraps of normal park use,” she said. “But to be honest, much of it was due to the discouraged and rude use of the space. So we are excited to change that culture. The river is not treated that way. Because. “

Bringback Khan is planning another cleanup from 9am to noon on October 30th. The location is undecided.

“People love to clean up the trash,” Damian said. “And all the cyclists and jogging who came were very grateful.”

The group also prepared postcards that people could sign in to support Bakersfield’s bid to allow water that might be available in the river to flow into the river. The procedure is underway at the State Water Resources Management Board.

Further upstream, about 100 volunteers from Khan River Conservancy picked up the riverbanks and surrounding areas at seven popular campgrounds from the mouth of Khan River Canyon to Lake Isabella. They also painted on graffiti left on the walls of rocks and canyons. According to Conservancy Secretary-General and Founder Gary Ananian, this was the seventh year the group participated in National Cleanup Day.

He said the typical carry was about 2,500 pounds of garbage, mostly leftovers from picnics and camps. He didn’t know what to expect this year after the blockade of COVID-19 in 2020 and life upset when California’s national forest was closed during this past Labor Day vacation. ..

“We’ve seen a lot of improvements,” said Ananian, in terms of reducing the amount of garbage left along the river. In addition to regular cleaning, the group undertook a number of support activities, including bilingual volunteers, to fulfill the Conservancy’s mission of turning campers into stewards.

“Then COVID destroyed it all,” Ananian said. The area was flooded with campers in 2020, many of which were the first timers. And when the forest was closed earlier this month, people just came to the river and camp in places where there were no available trash cans or bathrooms.

“This was the Archetypal Old West,” said Ananian.

On Saturday, the volunteers were ready for anything.

“We just came up with this,” said Chris Wilson of Los Angeles, accompanied by his daughter Bella Wilson, friend Christa Goodsit, and dog Duncan. “We came a lot to the river and this was a good excuse for another trip.”

Lois Henry He is the CEO and editor of SJV Water, a non-profit, independent online news publication that addresses the water issues of the San Joaquin Valley.She can reach at

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