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Bear Creek cleanup, restoration planned for Saturday

Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch Large portions of the Bear Creek Greenway were burned during the Almeda fire.

Volunteers will clean up and restore areas along Bear Creek and the Bear Creek Greenway Saturday in celebration of Earth Day.

Large swaths of the creek corridor were burned in September 2020 when the Almeda fire swept from Ashland to Medford and a smaller fire erupted in Central Point.

Activities will include removing litter and debris along the creek from Ashland to Central Point. The event runs from 9 a.m. to noon, with check-in starting at 8:30 a.m.

Volunteers must register and sign waivers in advance of the event by visiting www.bearcreekstewards.org. Participants will follow social distancing guidelines, and masks are required.

The event is being organized by the Bear Creek Stewards, which includes local cities, groups and businesses.

There are eight check-in locations for the event where volunteers can get cleanup supplies, including trash bags, trash-picker tools and gloves to use while they clean along the creek and Greenway.

The check-in sites will have information about the cleanup efforts and will provide coffee, juice and snacks for volunteers.

The check-in sites are at the intersection of Pine Street and Peninger Road in Central Point; McAndrews Road in Medford adjacent to the Greenway; Hawthorne Park in Medford next to the Greenway; Alba Drive near Barnett Road in Medford; US Cellular Park near the Coyote Trails Nature Center along Lowry Lane in south Medford; Blue Heron Park in Phoenix; Lynn Newbry Park in Talent and the northbound weigh station along Highway 99 between South Valley View Road and Talent Avenue between Ashland and Talent.

Volunteers can work on blackberry bush grubbing and removal at Blue Heron Park and Lynn Newbry Park, mulching near the Pine Street Greenway entrance, and removal of sediment-control wattles near the weigh station between Ashland and Talent. All tools for those activities will be provided, but volunteers may want to bring their own gloves and hand clippers and loppers if they have them.

SOLVE is the statewide sponsor of the cleanup day. Other sponsors include Extreme Terrain, the Gordon Elwood Foundation, Grants Pass Clinic, Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District, Lithia, Medford Food Co-op, Recology, Rogue Disposal and Starbucks.