Practically ever modern person can sing or recite a commercial or jingle from their youth dealing with litter, litterbugs, and giving a hoot about not polluting.
But catchy jingles, memory-sticking though they are, don't always stop someone from dropping a bottle into the LA River. They can, however, galvanize those who wish to pick up that bottle, and several more like it, and do so with the jingle's ultimate message in mind: Keeping our living quarters -- aka the earth -- nice is a nice thing to do.
Tidying up our urban waterway is an excellent start on that important plan and La Gran Limpieza, or the Great Los Angeles River CleanUp, will do just that over three Saturdays in April: 11, 18, and 25.
Volunteers will head out to multiple sections of the river, as they've done for 26 years now. The first Saturday calls upon parts of the river wending into the San Fernando Valley, April 18 is all about the Glendale Narrows, and April 25 focuses on the Lower River.
It's dubbed a "work party" so in addition to spiffying up the shore there shall be tunes, giveaways, and special happenings. Just ten volunteers joined together to make the river clean-up a yearly thing, but that number has jumped to over 3,000.
And 25 tons of trash -- plus plus -- have been dragged out of the riverbed over the years, making it less muckier for not just for kayakers and waders and those who fish but for the fish and birds who call the LA River home.
You've heard stories of the slightly mystical steelhead trout, yes? And that the Friends of the LA River hosted the first-ever Fishing Derby last September, with an aim to keep an eye out for the not-long-seen fish? Let's send the steelhead some love, and all of its piscine brethren, by keeping its H2O home looking sharp.
The river trash is sorted and weighed and documented, if you're curious (and we're all pretty curious about the lifespan of trash, we'll guess).
Volunteers also search for the strangest bit of trash. If you think you'll just haul out bottles and the random shoe, prepare yourself for more mystifying wonders, oh valiant volunteers. There's a River Treasures pile that gets the best of the best of the trash as well as the many "what the..?" items, too.
Register here to pitch in on one, two, or all the Saturdays. The fishes thank you, the birds thank you, and those humans who visit the river, or love it from afar, have gratitude, too.