Waterway cleanups and helping our neighbors – an effort by many

A huge THANK YOU to all our collaborators on the Watershed Protection Alliance (WPA)! We have been busy helping the unhoused in Amador County clean up and maintain their encampments, particularly around the local creeks.

We would not be able to do this without the help of so many in our community, especially ACES Waste Service. ACES has not only been extremely cooperative in delivering and removing dumpsters but has greatly reduced or eliminated many of the charges for trash disposal.  

Other partners include Sierra Wind Wellness and Recovery Services, and local  hardware stores, which have both contributed significant time and resources. We can’t forget the many volunteers who show up on a weekend — they work hard and get dirty. Our unhoused friends are willing to bag up their trash and help us with the cleanups and are immensely thankful that they have a place to dispose of their refuse.

We’re proud of all we’ve accomplished this first year of WPA cleanups.  After nine cleanups, mostly on creeks and a few in the greater watershed, approximately 20 volunteers and staff have removed over 10 tons of trash.  In addition, we’ve begun a maintenance program.  For sites where there is too much to finish in one day, we’ve arranged to have a dumpster left for a week and the unhoused have cleaned up the site and filled the dumpster.  At other times, we’ve picked up bagged trash at a site and taken it to the landfill.

We need more volunteers to help with the cleanups, including drivers with pickup trucks. If interested, call our office at 209-223-3508. You can learn more about the program and fill out the volunteer application on our website here.

Donations are always welcome to help purchase supplies and pay waste removal fees.  Donations can be mailed to the Foothill Conservancy, 35 Court St., Suite 1, Jackson 95642, or they can be made online here. Be sure to indicate your donation is for the WPA.

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Leslie Smith, Sutter Creek, CA: Raised in Washington State, Leslie is a happy California transplant having moved to Sunny Sutter Creek full time in 2020. As a nascent fly fisher and lifelong skier, she is committed to the natural environment and brings extensive organizational and finance experience to the board from a nearly 40 year career in banking.