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The 21st Annual Arkansas River Cleanup ...

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The 21st Annual Arkansas River Cleanup Set for May 19
SALIDA, Colo. - The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) announces the 21st Annual Arkansas River Cleanup/Greenup (CUGU) on Saturday, May 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The AHRA invites individuals and groups of all ages to help clean up the public lands and water along the Arkansas River to maintain the health of the areas enjoyed for recreation and relaxation. Constant winds and warm temperatures this past season have taken a toll on the area, blowing plastics and cans from waste containers into the grasses and bushes along the river. The cleanup will get rid of the unsightly and unhealthy trash, and protect and restore the river bank, the vegetation and wildlife.

CUGU is sponsored by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association and the U.S. Forest Service. The cooperation of valued volunteers makes CUGU a success, and each year over 200 volunteers pick up over a ton of garbage from sofas to soda bottles.

Individuals and groups can sign up on May 19, between 8:30-9:30 a.m. at the Buena Vista Community Center parking area on East Main Street in Buena Vista, the AHRA Visitor Center at 307 W. Sackett Street in Salida or the Sugarbush Store in Howard. From there, the race is on to scour the river banks and other public lands for unwanted, unhealthy and unsightly trash.

Volunteers will receive trash bags and a "Cleanup"¯ button, which will serve as their ticket to the volunteer picnic from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Riverside Park in Salida. AHRA Program Assistant Rose Bayless says the picnic will be lots of fun and include a "Rocks and Geology"¯ touch table exhibit by AHRA volunteer geologist Bob Hickey and a "Leave No Trace"¯ booth, staffed by the group's travelling trainers. Prizes will also be given away, so remember to save any unique and interesting trash items and bring them to the picnic for the "trash contest."¯

The AHRA looks forward to seeing a good turnout on May 19 to give a little back to the place that gives so much to all of us! Call AHRA at (719) 539-7289 or GARNA at (719) 539-5106 for more information.

The AHRA is managed through a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Land Management and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Formed in 1989, this partnership allows agencies to provide visitors with recreation opportunities and care for significant natural resources of the Upper Arkansas River Valley.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife was created by the merger of Colorado State Parks and the Colorado Division of Wildlife, two nationally recognized leaders in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado's wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs. To learn more about Colorado's state parks, please see: http://parks.state.co.us. To learn more about Colorado's wildlife programs, please see: http://wildlife.state.co.us