(Photo | Courtesy of Discover Your Forest)
Earlier this summer, an anonymous local donor reached out to Discover Your Forest to organize a cleanup effort in the China Hat Road area of the Deschutes National Forest. The donor contributed more than $10,000 as a recurring investment for volunteer cleanups in the region, partnering with Discover Your Forest, Central Oregon Land Cruisers, Central Oregon OHV Association, Cascade Heavy Rescue, local towing and garbage companies and more than 35 volunteers to make the project successful.
The group of volunteers and partners were able to remove 18,000 pounds of trash, scrap metal and waste; including 16 automobile tires and wheels, seven passenger vehicles, one Class C motorhome and one truck camper. The removal of this waste has significantly improved the environment and safety of the area. The project area sits approximately 0.5 miles from the nearest neighborhood. Organized efforts to remove abandoned vehicles and accumulated trash piles requires significant coordination and the specialized equipment of towing companies.
“The generosity and hard work of the donor, partners and volunteers in cleaning up the China Hat area is a tremendous gift that will help improve this challenging, yet well-loved portion, of the Deschutes National Forest directly adjacent to the community of Bend. The Forest Service is very grateful for this support and partnership.” said Holly Jewkes, Forest supervisor of the Deschutes National Forest.
This project took place in June, with another planned before the end of 2021, and follows annual efforts to clean up and maintain the area. The donor funding the project remarked, “When people notice trash and abandoned vehicles where they want to explore, it can be disheartening. But instead of being frustrated, we are asking that people choose to do something about it. The right people with the right attitudes can make a huge difference by simply working together.” The success of the project hinged on funding from local donors, tedious physical labor from the volunteers and collaboration between several local companies and organizations. Jeremy Evans with Technique Vehicle Outfitter, Jessica Gamble with the Home More Network, Brent Baker with Oregon Adventure Trucks, Bend Towing and Recovery, Consolidated Towing, Commercial Powder Coating, Cascade Disposal, Knott Landfill and the residents of Woodside Ranch all contributed in meaningful ways to making this project possible, and correctly storing and disposing of the materials removed.
Discover Your Forest, the nonprofit partner of the Forest Service in Central Oregon, contributes to forest health and safety by fundraising, training and managing volunteers and providing conservation education to thousands of local students annually. If you would like to receive information regarding upcoming cleanups, you can reach out to the project lead at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in making a financial contribution to the China Hat Road cleanups, you can do so by visiting: discovernw.org/discover-your-forest-china-hat-cleanup.