The Santa Clara River is the largest river system in southern California that is still mostly in its natural condition, not cemented in like an enormous gutter. In southern California the rivers are dry most of the year, but the natural ones are home to abundant wildlife including rabbits, opossums, raccoons, hawks, eagles, egrets, coyotes, deer, mountain lions, and bears. Riverbeds that run near or though cities end up with a lot of litter and junk that contaminate the water and harm the native plants and animals.
Every year the City of Santa Clarita holds a River Rally where local individuals, families, and service groups gather to clean up a section of the river that runs through its city limits. A different section or tributary is selected each year, and in a single day the people haul out several tons of trash and junk.
Last Saturday, the Santa Clarita Atheists and Freethinkers joined over 1,700 people at the River Rally. I’m a member of this group, and this was our first effort to participate publicly in the community as an identified group.
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