BASS LAKE – It was a perfect day on the lake for the annual Spring Clean, as dozens of volunteers turned out to help spruce up the roadsides, trails and shorelines ahead of the summer season.
On Saturday, May 11, families and youth groups, anglers and hikers, people of all ages gathered at Recreation Point to check in and pick up their garbage bags and gloves and set to work.
Linda Sadler, California Land Management Graphics and Events Coordinator who was orchestrating the day’s activities, talked about the clean-up day, which has been going on for about 15+ years.
“The event is geared for groups and families to work together while learning about the environment and making the area safe from discarded garbage. It’s a form of the ‘Leave No Trace’ ethic.”
The volunteers were given badges acknowledging their participation, and were shown a sealed bag of poison oak to help them avoid contact with the plant during their travels.
They were also given bottles of water, maps and smash wipes, and as many trash bags as they thought they could fill.
Michelle Feuerstein, and Gloria and Red Wood were busy cooking up a feast for the participants, to be served at 11:30. The BBQ lunch included fresh fruits and veggies, and cookies.
Skip Bullock, who manned the sign-up table, noted that this is a great way for families and groups to bring kids out for a safe day of community service.
Several groups came out to participate, including “The Youth Group” (TYG) from Rivergold School. Group mentors Karl and Shari Oswald said the mission of TYG is serving the community and promoting cultural awareness.
TYG meets every two weeks on Friday to hear guest speakers share on subjects from climbing Mt. Whitney to the Hope Africa project, and have done fundraisers for the Poverello House.
There was also a group from Minarets High School, families and groups of friends, and many more who just love the lake and want to do their part.
“The first couple to check in collected 18 bags of garbage, which started the event out with a bang,” says Sadler. “Everyone together brought in over 150 bags of ‘stuff,’ plus the bigger items like tires, dock pieces, Styrofoam, buckets – enough to fill a flatbed truck to almost overflowing.”
Brian Paulsen, part-time resident of the Bass Lake Annex, has been coming to the lake for 35 years, and wants to give something back.
“It’s a good thing to do,” said Paulsen. “My family and I have been enjoying the lake for years, and we just want to do our part.”
Paulsen said he picks up trash in the area all the time, and is amazed at what people will leave and where they leave it.
“I’ve found full bags of trash sitting on picnic tables, just a few feet from the trash can,” he said. “Diapers, broken coolers, you see it all.”
Linda Sadler thanked those who do this clean up throughout the year, not just on Spring Clean day.
“A few dedicated volunteers collect litter regularly at the lake, and know spots where the public leaves the most garbage,” she says. “We really appreciate everything they do.”
When the dirty work was done, everyone shared in a BBQ lunch, and then there was a drawing for prizes from local merchants as their way of saying Thank You For A Job Well Done!
Sadler wants to thank all the merchants who donate prizes for the event –
Big Cedar Springs – Wood Carving
Round Table Pizza – A Free Pizza
Old Corral Grocery & Tackle Shop – $25 of Fishing Tackle
Creative Art Glass by Gayle – 2 handmade necklaces
Yosemite Trails Pack Station – Gift Certificate for 1-hour Trail Ride
Pizza Factory – Gift Certificates
REI – Kids Adventure Journal
Fresno Grizzlies – Tickets for 4
Sierra Recreation/CLM – Kids Stuff
Starbucks – 3 Fair Trade Coffees
Sierra Telephone – 2 Telephones
Millers Landing – Use of Party Barge for 6 hours
Oakhurst Giftworks – Gift Certificate
The Forks – 2 Gift Certificates
Pines Market at Bass Lake – Women’s Bass Lake Jacket
41 Trading Post – Gift Certificate
Raley’s Supermarket – $25 Gift Card
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad – Family Pack Logger Ride
Yosemite Bank – $50 Target Gift Certificate
Tom Wheeler, Dist. 5 Supervisor – 6 Collector Model Cars
Vons Supermarket – Drinking Water
Simply Smashing – Smash Wipes
Art Route Signs – Mike Muscato
Idea Print Works Inc. – Screen Printing, Embroidery
CLM will be conducting similar cleanups on June 6 near Lake Isabella and the end of June at Huntington Lake.
Sierra Recreation, a Division of California Land Management, organizes this annual event each spring. CLM is the concessionaire of campgrounds on National Forest Service lands in the Sierra.