Annual watershed cleanup set for Saturday

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Anyone looking for a chance to help clean up the watersheds, communities and hiking trails of Taos County is in luck. Amigos Bravos, a conservation organization, invites families and individuals to the 11th annual Taos River and Land Cleanup Saturday (July 29).

With the help of volunteers, the event is one of the main ways hazardous trash - like shot-up TVs and batteries - is removed from sensitive environments in Northern New Mexico, according to a press release from Amigos Bravos. In 2016, cleanup crews picked up 16 tons of trash in three hours.

Volunteers in Taos are asked to meet at 8 a.m. at St. James Episcopal Church. Volunteers in Questa are asked to meet at the Questa Visitor Center (on the northeast corner of State Road 522 and State Road 38), also at 8 a.m. Teams will disperse to various sites around Taos County - including the Río Grande del Norte National Monument, Wild and Scenic Rivers, sites in Questa and along its roadsides, as well as Miranda Canyon, Río Chiquito and the Río Fernando.

A complimentary lunch for volunteers will be served at 1 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church.

Volunteers are asked to bring a water bottle and sunscreen. Long pants, long-sleeved shirts, a hat and gloves are recommended, though extra gloves will be given out.

As part of the cleanup, the Beautiful Midden project is asking volunteers to document what is found at each team's site. Following the event, photos, recordings and other data will be compiled into audiovisual works. "My hope is that it provides concrete data, as well as opportunities for volunteers to observe and reflect more deeply on the effects of and relationships between waste, water and landscape," said Claire Coté, a collaborator with Beautiful Midden.

For more information, call Amigos Bravos at (575) 758-3874.

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