Organizers prepare for 20th annual Truckee River Day
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Volunteers will descend upon the Truckee River this weekend — gloves, shovels, boots and all in the effort of helping restore and revitalize one of the community’s most popular attractions.
The event, which in years past has amassed hundreds of volunteers, appears to be on track to follow that trend, said Michele Prestowitz, a program manager with the Truckee River Watershed Council and volunteer group leader for the project.
“I don’t have an exact number, but I’d guess about 350 volunteers have made plans to do work,” she said Wednesday.
The Watershed Council, an organization founded on collaborative solutions for the protection and restoration of the Truckee River, has spearheaded the project, now celebrating 20 years.
Council organizers have outlined a number of restoration projects across the river, including Dry Creek, Jammer Chair, Johnson Canyon, the Little Truckee River, Prosser Creek, Waddle Ranch, Boca Townsite, Strockrest Springs and Sugar Pine.
Projects will include meadow restoration, seed planting, mulch, revegetation, and erosion control and milfoil surveys, just to name some of the work.
Projects are slated to start Sunday, Oct. 18, at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. and expected to finish between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Volunteers will have their choice of half or full day of restoration projects, with different levels of difficulty.
Prestowitz explained organizers want to focus efforts on areas of need, noting the Little Truckee River project would be “a particularly large project.”
For Prestowitz and her fellow organizers, this being the 20th anniversary of the event, it holds special resonance.
“There are bunches of people in the room who have done this work for the past 20 years,” she said. “It was almost emotional.”
As California continues to endure a historic drought, Trout Unlimited, a national nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of American coldwater fisheries and watersheds, is partnering with the Watershed Council and has offered its help organizing citizens, conservationists, and sportsmen to help with the cause.
“The spirit of volunteerism and commitment to habitat improvement are ultimately the catalyst through which Trout Unlimited and local communities prosper,” wrote Samuel Sedillo, a spokesman with Trout Unlimited, in an email to the Sun. “Regardless of drought or other environment-threatening phenomenon, (Trout Unlimited) continues the tradition of running successful volunteer events.”
Following the day’s projects, organizers will hold the River Fair from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Granite Flat Campground, in south Truckee off Highway 89.
The fair will feature activities for kids and adults, live music and food provided free of charge by Northstar California.
While the deadline to register for the event was Thursday, Oct. 15, Prestowitz said last-minute registration would be available through Friday online at http://www.truckeeriverwc.org.