On Mother’s Day, a group of 11 Forest Stewards trekked into Santa Paula Canyon to clean up trash along the immensely popular trail and at a primitive campground. The group packed out about 60 pounds of trash over the 6 mile hike!
The volunteers, which included students from University of California Santa Barbara and local high schools, veteran hikers from as far away as Los Angeles, and other residents of Ventura County, started the day with a safety talk before heading into the canyon from Highway 150. The group split into two teams: one that would stick to the creek to clean up the many heavily-used and undesignated trails and one that would clean up Big Cone Camp far into the canyon.
The creek team removed water bottles, cans, tattered clothing, and even diapers from along the trails. These awesome volunteers didn’t hesitate to get in the mud to grab trash!
The team that hiked all the way to Big Cone Camp — a primitive camp situated at an elevated area not far from a popular swimming hole — found food wrappers, water bottles, and an abandoned tent before soaking up the beautiful views and heading back out of the canyon!
We talked to several groups of hikers and campers while in the canyon, informing them about our efforts and how they could help by packing out their trash. Some took one of our extra trash bags to use themselves, while others had fortunately brought their own.
There remains a lot of work to be done in Santa Paula Canyon to prevent littering along the trail and graffiti on the incredible boulders and cliff faces. ForestWatch is currently working on ways to curb these impacts now and into the future.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who spent their Sunday making a difference in Santa Paula Canyon!
Check out more photos from the cleanup: