Cleanup day makes a dent

There were as many as 100 people, numerous types of heavy equipment and dozens of trucks on a mission to clean up 40 acres of U.S. Forest Service land in the Dresslerville pit area Friday.

Community Services/Parks & Recreation Director Scott Morgan said about 60 people were waiting at the southern border of the Gardnerville Ranchos when operations commenced at 9 a.m.

"With the closure of the gravel pit, it is now time to restore this area to its natural beauty by removing years of trash and illegal dumping," Morgan said.

The effort included members of the U.S. Forest Service, Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, Douglas County Road Department, Douglas Disposal, Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District, the Carson Valley Active 20-30 Club, Rite of Passage and China Spring Youth Camp. Greg Lynn donated a dump truck and contractor Chuck Paya contributed a backhoe for the day.

Workers attended a short safety meeting, donned sunscreen, hats and gloves and were given game plans and garbage bags to attack years of accumulated construction trash, yard waste, abandoned vehicles, appliances, TVs, furniture, remnants of illegal target practice and just plain garbage.

Part of the area bordering the Ranchos includes Washoe cultural sites.

"Part of this area is sensitive to the tribe so tribal members are out doing cleanup in those areas," Morgan said Friday.

Washoe Tribe public relations officer Felicia Archer said eight or nine vehicles and a lot of the big stuff was removed from the area. Members of the Washoe Environmental Protection Department will return to the pit area this week to see what further work is to be done to restore the land.

"That land means a lot to us," said Archer. "Cleanup day was a great success. It was a team effort."

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