Volunteers to clean up waterways

The Rogue River and Bear Creek will get some sprucing up Saturday by volunteers working in conjunction with the annual National Public Lands Day.

Separate cleanup efforts are planned for a 33-mile stretch of the upper Rogue and the banks of Bear Creek from Ashland to its confluence with the Rogue.

Crews in driftboats and rafts as well as volunteers on the bank will collect debris from the base of Lost Creek Dam to Fishers Ferry boat ramp downstream from the former Gold Ray Dam site.

Several Rogue fishing guides already have plied the Rogue upstream of Shady Cove, but more work is needed in that area, said Molly Allen, environmental education coordinator for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Medford.

More volunteers are needed, Allen said.

"We have at least 30 so far, and we're expecting 50 or 60," Allen said.

Groups will meet at 9 a.m. at Casey State Park along Highway 62 and at the boat ramp area of TouVelle State Park off Table Rock Road, Allen said. Volunteers will be divided up and given cleanup assignments there, she said.

A 1 p.m. picnic for volunteers is planned at the upper TouVelle picnic area, she said.

For more information, call Pete Mazzini, coordinator of the Upper Rogue Watershed Council, at 541-210-0670.

The Bear Creek Watershed Council is organizing a similar cleanup along the creek from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Volunteers should meet at Bear Creek Park near the skate park to get trash bags and directions to their cleanup locales. Crews will also pull purple loosestrife that has infested a wetland near the skate park and will tend to trees planted recently along a stretch of Larson Creek, organizer Dick Barbara said.

For more information, call Barbara at 541-324-4895.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.

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