Thumbs Up for Clean-Up

This brief writing attempts summary of Saturday’s achievement at the 8th Community Creek Clean-up along the North Sacramento Trail from the North Market Street Bridge to the Sundial Bridge.

Community volunteers cleared tons of brush and trash in the annual clean-up. Photos by Ed Tam.

Nothing could stop the outpouring on behalf of the resource and our shared public space. What tried failed including the following: a rattlesnake, two new yellow jacket nests unrelated to the two treated last night, a seriously threatening protester, a chipper jammed for thirty minutes by a well-meaning volunteer, four completely disabled chain saws, several widow-making broken trees, forbiddingly steep slopes, tangles of vines and needle sharp blackberry, several tons of non- native and dead vegetation, at least three hundred pounds of human caused litter and hours of dehydrating exertion.

Photo by Ed Tam.

The combination of community assets was most impressive. Bethel Church sent an inspired legion including four professionals, two from remote locations including the Ukraine.

Rotary Club of Redding and two other Rotary clubs were there to support the cause.

Photo by Ed Tam.

City of Redding was present in three essential departments: Community Services, Redding Electric Utility with chipper and a crew as well as vital Police support.

Western Shasta Resource Conservation District sent a needed trailer, truck and driver. McConnell Foundation donated a valuable chipper, an impressively important 4×4 hauling vehicle and a hard working crew of at least four which stayed until 2 p.m., two hours after quitting time for almost everyone else.

Juvenile Hall sent an entire squad of diligent workers with a supervisor. Jeff Haynes paid and worked with his staff of landscape professionals numbering at least half a dozen using valuable equipment.

They fully exposed from towering and choking Himalayan blackberry a precious lagoon and pond unseen and unused for many decades. Ed Tam and newspaper came to record the event. The general community was there with youth and adults of all ages and abilities to fight for the restoration of a riparian savanna along a lovely stretch of the Sacramento River near the center of Redding.

The California Conservation Corps completed a whole section by themselves bringing equipment, another chipper and uncovering another long forgotten swale.


More than two hundred people were there to help in tasks from registration and safety to hauling water, cutting brush and operating dangerous equipment. This was not the largest turn out in the series, but only the 2.5 mile 2009 effort rivals the chip production.

Nothing has cleared as much entangled jungle. Nothing previously has opened as much long lost river frontage to safe passage, use and enjoyable viewing.

Personal thanks seem so inadequate. Only the recovered property speaks with enough eloquence to match the valor and worth of today’s spirited and inspiring workers.

Hopefully, those who came will always remember what was achieved and those who see the North Sacramento River Trail in coming days will be astonished what can be accomplished in a single day of honest work.

Randy (aka Private Creeky) Smith joined forces with more than 100 community volunteers for Saturday’s annual Community Clean-up. Photos by Ed Tam.

Report by “Private Creeky” aka Randy Smith. Photos by Ed Tam
Randy Smith is a retired physician who’s dedicated countless volunteer hours as a member of the City of Redding Planning Commission, Redding Rotary Club of the Redding Stream Team and untold other community projects.

Randall R. Smith
Randy Smith is a retired physician, morphed into a full-time professional volunteer. He is a former member of the Redding Planning Commission and Cal-Tip Advisory Board. He is an active member and the founder of the Allied Stream Team of Rotary Club of Redding. He lives in Redding with his wife, Judy.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

6 Responses

  1. Avatar •Handouts Don&# says:

    THANK YOU so much volunteers and others who helped to clean up this "trail" and make the community so much safer for everyone.

    This place has become overrun with vegetation that homeless transients, vagrants, drug addicts, rapist and many others who have overtaken this place.

    It's a start!

    Together we can all take back Redding from the

    Now RPD it's your turn to enforce the no camping laws and make people settling in these area move on – preferably out of our town!

  2. Avatar Anne says:

    Thank you Randy and all the other organizations and volunteers! Wow – what an impressive dedication and amount of work.

    This trail is so important to people who use it to get back and forth from home to work and businesses and church, to walk and ride and skate and enjoy, to reflect and breathe. It's so important for getting around and for exercise and drawing people and tourists to enjoy our community.

    Kudos to everyone who sees all this value and knows that it takes work and dedication to maintain this amazing resource.

    Thank you!


  3. Avatar Ginny says:

    God Bless you and the crew of workers. Thank you.

  4. Avatar Paul says:

    Awesome!! This is so great! I would volunteer, but I live in Colorado now.

  5. Avatar Bill says:

    To ALL; Thank you very much! …You have enhanced our lives here in the N. State w/ your hard work!! I look forward to be able to see your handiwork when I get a little stronger..

  6. Avatar Sally says:

    The amount of volunteering by our area residents never ceases to amaze me. Kudos to all!!