Volunteers clean up the Forks

Carol Crawford was at the Forks State Park for the We Love Our Parks event with her Leave No Trace display Saturday, May 13.
(Photo by Laura Mancuso, Illinois Valley News)

The We Love Our Parks event was held at Forks State Park May 13. The event was hosted by Oregon State Parks, Friends of the Forks and Illinois Valley Community Development Organization.The event had tables full of educational information and then at 11 a.m. a group of volunteers went to help with cleaning up weeds and invasive species in the park.
Friends of the Parks volunteers Roger Brandt and Linda Naydol hosted a table with information about the Old Stage Park Cleanup scheduled for Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Brandt explained that the work will be restricted to the cleanup of five locations in the park where concentrations of trash have accumulated in abandoned houseless camp sites. This is an effort to move in the direction of reopening the park for public use. “The city is bringing an excavator and a dumpster is being donated by Southern Oregon Sanitation,” said Brandt.
Carol Crawford was at the park with a Leave No Trace display. Since 1997 Crawford has been a Certified Leave No Trace trainer. When she was asked why people should care about leaving no trace she responded, “Your kids and grandkids are going to pay for you and your parents not recycling.” Crawford said that one of the first things you can do is “pick up around your own home.” She explained that so much of the trash dumped ends up in our water systems. “At least if you take it to the dump, the trash will be buried and not end up in the ocean.”

A group of volunteers came together to eradicate invasive plants at Forks Park Saturday, May 13.
(Courtesy photo for the Illinois Valley News)

of the Oregon’s Sourdough Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of America with Cate Bendock. Bendock has been a member since 2000 and said the BCHO assists public land agencies with trail maintenance, trail building, pack support and promoting trail safety. Bendock said, “I really like packing.” Often she helps work parties pack in their supplies by horseback. For more information visit https://www.bcho.org/chapters/sourdough-chapter/sourdough-chapeter-calendar or emailsourdough-dir@bcho.org or catebendock@icloud.com.
And another table had Ranger Katie Ekblom from the Oregon Caves National Monument. She had a children friendly display that had a microscope to view lichen and other items found at the caves, junior ranger magazines, bat skeleton and a lime and chalk activity to help understand how the caves were formed.
If you are ever wondering what events are going on in the Illinois Valley or would like to volunteer, don’t forget to visit https://illinoisvalleyweb.org.