Aug 02

Arroyo Seco Gorge Cleanup

In the sweltering summer heat on July 22nd, a dedicated band of VWA members and Volunteer Wilderness Rangers descended into the Arroyo Seco Gorge to remove trash and clean up unauthorized campsites and fire rings. We also talked with visitors about stewardship and fire safety as we removed trash, and made over 100 visitor contacts on the trail. We hope this cleanup event will be the first of many! Check out our Meetup page to receive notifications for future stewardship events.

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Participants stayed at the Arroyo Seco Group Campground, which was generously donated to us by VWA member Chuck Tremper.


Trash cleanup started well before we even left the campground! Participants combed the leaf litter for microtrash and removed numerous pieces of food packaging.


These superstars from Patagonia Santa Cruz did back-to-back trash cleanups! After helping us remove trash from the gorge on Saturday, they returned to Santa Cruz to join Save Our Shores for a beach cleanup on Sunday.


Photo: Mike Splain

Despite the heat, it was a beautiful day at the gorge!

Fire ring before Fire ring after

Before & after of a fire ring site. Although current Forest Service fire restrictions prohibit campfires outside of designated fire rings, we dismantled nearly 30 unauthorized fire rings- many with signs of recent use!


Photo: Maria Ferdin

The rangers hiked to Horse Bridge Camp, the Santa Lucia Trail and the Camp Cawatre Trail, where they removed and cleaned 18 fire rings!

Lucia Fire Lucia Fire 2

We passed by the site of the recent Lucia Fire, which started on July 12th near Arroyo-Seco Indians Road at the confluence of the Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Creek. Fortunately, the fire was quickly contained and only a few acres were affected by the burn.


Photo: Mike Heard

 We cleaned up cardboard, rebar, flotation devices, bottles, cans, discarded camping gear, food wrappers, and broken glass. By the end of the day, the group had hauled an estimated 200 pounds of trash out of the gorge!

Thanks to all of our amazing volunteers for making this a great event.


1 comment

  1. Rich

    I was impressed by the volunteer turnout. We had locals from just a few miles away as well as folks that came from the Bay Area, Stockton and Redlands. What a great group of people!

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