Melanie Tluczek, Kara Baron

Melanie Tluczek, left, director of Gila Watershed Partnership, and Kara Barron, science and outreach manager, help establish a native plant during Freeport-McMoRan’s Biodiversity Week event.

CLIFTON — The Gila Watershed Partnership has been very busy this fall season, and there’s more to come.

On Saturday, Nov. 23, the GWP will be sponsoring another of its successful San Francisco River cleanups.

The event begins at Riverside Park in Clifton starting at 8 a.m. and will run until noon.

“The beautiful San Francisco River is designated an important bird habitat and is a hot spot for the local community to recreate,” the GWP wrote in announcing the cleanup. “Unfortunately, it is also designated an impaired waterway because of high levels of E. coli, a bacteria that can be harmful to humans. River cleanups are one of the ways we work together to improve water quality.”

Over dozens of cleanup efforts, the GWP has pulled thousands of pounds of trash out of the San Francisco River and made sizable efforts to reduce E. Coli levels via installation of restrooms and fencing of cattle.

In June, a similar event removed 465 pounds of trash; and last month, the group finished construction on a third restroom for the public on the shores of the river.

“Bring your own reusable water bottle, and we will provide the water. Hats, sunglasses and closed-toe shoes are highly recommended. Gloves, safety vests and garbage bags will be provided. All volunteers will receive a free lunch and 10 percent off at Chase Creek Marketplace on the day of the event. RSVP is required for lunch,” GWP wrote.

The GWP also has a fund-raising event in December designed to provide assistance for projects in 2020.

The Taco Tuesday Fund-raiser will be held at Manor House Restaurant in Safford on Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The group will be hosting a raffle and selling native plants at the event.

Ten percent of all proceeds will go toward funding Americorps positions for 2020.

The GWP will also hold its annual Update and Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on Dec. 18.

For more information about any of these events contact Kara Barron, science and outreach manager for Gila Watershed Partnership, at 928-424-3886.

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