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‘All Mountain Cleanup’ aims to give Mount Hood a fresh start posted on 08/31/2019

One of the mountain’s biggest volunteer stewardship events just got bigger. This year’s Timberline to Troutdale cleanup series will gather in Government Camp and spread out across Mt. Hood on Saturday, Sept. 21, marking the first All Mountain Cleanup.

The new vision: to clean up the whole mountain, all at one time, building a lasting practice for the entire year.

“Garbage, unfortunately, doesn’t respect watershed boundaries and accumulates downhill and downstream,” said Jocelyn Gary, director of the Mount Hood Institute. “Those of us who go to Mount Hood for recreation, exploration and solace need to contribute to its stewardship.”

“Rivers on both sides of the mountain flow to the Columbia and then the Pacific,” added Steve Wise, Executive Director of the Sandy River Watershed Council (SRWC). “It’s great to have all the resorts working together to remove contaminants at the headwaters.”

The All Mountain Cleanup, held on Saturday, Sept. 21, is paired with the popular Lower Sandy River Floating Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 14.

With more than 100 volunteers regularly joining past cleanups at Timberline, organizers are recruiting for up to 300 participants this year on Sept. 21. Volunteers will meet at Summit Ski Area at 9 a.m. for refreshments before shuttling or carpooling to Mt. Hood Meadows, Timberline or SkiBowl. Volunteers may also choose to stay at Summit and help clean up the Village of Government Camp. This year’s cleanup also has added an exciting component, partnering with Northwest Trail Alliance, to lead a mountain bike ride down the Timberline to Town Trail to remove trash there as well. The event concludes with a large group photo at 1:30 p.m. and an after party at the Ratskeller, 88335 Government Camp Loop in Government Camp, hosted by 10 Barrel Brewing.

Past cleanups have hauled as much as four tons of trash out of the canyon and slopes at Timberline. Glaciers there serve as the headwaters to the Salmon River providing key spawning grounds for wild fish.

The terrain is varied from steep and uneven, to flat and easy; all ability levels and ages welcome. Volunteers are encouraged to bring sturdy footwear, work gloves, a water bottle/coffee mug and appropriate clothing for mountain weather. Carpool options have been set with Get There Oregon at: https://getthere.rideamigos.com/#/events/5d601d932d3bff236657a39b. Or take a ride with Portland’s favorite shuttle to Mount Hood; GREEN DREAM BUS.

The downriver floating cleanup will gather at Lewis and Clark State Park near Troutdale at 9 a.m. Saturday Sept. 14, then shuttle volunteers to Dabney State Park to board rafts and float the lower river. No previous rafting experience is necessary, and personal floatation devices, paddles and other gear are provided free of charge.

“This is a great entry level opportunity for folks to get out on the water for a gentle float, and also contribute to a cleaner Sandy River,” Wise said. “The more we learn about the effects of plastics and other trash on fish, birds and other aquatic life, the more important it is to get the trash out of our rivers.”

Volunteers who want to participate in the floating cleanup  can register at www.solveoregon.org. Volunteers may bring their own floatation or can reserve one of the limited raft seats at www.eventbrite.com.

The City of Troutdale continues its sponsorship of the Lower Sandy River Cleanup, guided by Stout Creek Outfitters. SRWC is also partnering with Vive NW this year to make outdoor stewardship more accessible to diverse audiences and encourages Spanish speakers of all levels to attend.

Both the Float and the All Mountain events are part of the SOLVE Fall Beach and River Cleanups and are free and open to the public.  Additional partners and donors include:  Timberline, Summit Ski Area, Mt Hood Meadows Resort, SkiBowl, the Mt. Hood Institute, USDA Mt. Hood National Forest Zigzag District, Village of Government Camp, Portland Mountain Rescue, Northwest Trail Alliance, Timberline Mountain Guides, Mt. Hood Ski Patrol, Vive NW, The Mountain Shop, GREEN DREAM BUS, TREW, Oregon State Parks, SRWC, Voodoo Donuts, Mt. Hood Coffee Roasters, Sisters Coffee, New Season and 10 Barrel Brewing.

Please register to participate at www.solveoregon.org or contact mthoodinstitute@gmail.com or sara@sandyriver.org for more information.

By Sara Ennis/MT

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