Tonto National Forest Seeks Volunteers For River Cleanup

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As one of the busiest recreation spots on the Tonto National Forest, the Lower Salt River Recreation Area hosts thousands of visitors every summer weekend.

Unfortunately, many of these visitors leave their trash behind, creating an unsightly and dangerous mess.

To help restore this stretch of water back to its natural beauty in celebration of National Public Lands Day, the Tonto National Forest's Mesa Ranger District will host the 27th Annual Salt River Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 30.

Last year's event drew more than 250 volunteers who collected 18 tons of trash from the Lower Salt River Recreation Area.

Event registration is 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Phon D. Sutton Recreation Site.

The cleanup begins immediately after registration and will continue until around noon when lunch and beverages will be provided free to volunteers. Raffle prizes and other sponsorship support will be provided by event sponsors, including SRP, Saguaro Lake Ranch, Arizona Clean & Beautiful, Leave No Trace, Glad Bags, Ready Ice, Tropical Smoothie Café, Indigo Joe's Restaurant, Golden Spoon, Frozen Yogurt, and Target.

A majority of the cleanup will occur in and around the water. The Forest Service, Cimarron River Company, and Desert Voyagers Rafting will provide boats and guidance to get volunteers on the water where cleanup is highly needed.

Trash bags, drinking water, and parking are free for the day's events.

Participants are urged to wear closed-toe, rubber-soled shoes that can be worn in and around water, as well as sunscreen, and gloves.

All types of non-motorized boaters are also encouraged to join in the cleanup.

For more information or to pre-register a group, contact Scotty McBride at the Mesa Ranger District at (480) 610-3300.

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