Volunteers help clean Washoe Meadows State Park

Volunteers checking in to the cleanup event at Washoe Meadows State Park

On August 2, 2022 Sierra Nevada Alliance AmeriCorps (SNAP) Member Alexa Finn, with her host sites Sierra Nevada Alliance and Sierra Club Tahoe Area Group, held a cleanup event at Washoe Meadows State Park in South Lake Tahoe. The Cleanup was a collaborative effort by Sierra Nevada Alliance, Sierra Club Tahoe Area Group, and Sierra State Parks Foundation, and was supported by Clean Tahoe.

Seth and Cole Connolly at Cleanup

This volunteer effort was coordinated to clean litter from Washoe Meadows, which is a part of the Upper Truckee River watershed. The Truckee River flows into Lake Tahoe, so any debris or trash that is found here can pollute the lake and other connecting watersheds in the Sierra. Eleven volunteers and three staff members helped collect approximately 105 pounds of trash from the park. The main types of trash found were cigarette butts, plastic water bottles, paper products, and styrofoam.

Lynne from the Tahoe Area Group gave a cleanup introduction and safety talk to volunteers

This event aligns with Tahoe Area Group’s mission to ensure the ongoing protection of the natural environment and resources of the Lake Tahoe basin and Truckee River drainage because the project directly helps clean up the drainage. It also connects to the Alliance’s mission to be a hub of stewardship across the Sierra Nevada and support and collaborate with their partners. Volunteers are also introduced to the impacts of trash in the watershed, and the organizations supporting these efforts.

Volunteers returning from their cleanup location showing what they collected

Washoe Meadows is home to migrating birds, black bears, fish and the Upper Truckee River. Trash from the roads, parks and other lands can easily enter the watershed, so removing litter and pollutants is important for the health of Washoe Meadows and Sierra Nevada watersheds. The Sierra provides numerous resources to the surrounding areas including 60% of California’s water supply. Across the Sierra, cleanups coordinated by these organizations help keep our watershed and drinking water safe without contaminants.

Some of the trash collected during the cleanup including cigarette butts, plastic water bottles and paper products.

Learn more about the work Alexa, Sierra Nevada Alliance, and Sierra Club Tahoe Area Group does by clicking the links throughout this article.

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