Clean-up scheduled tomorrow

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It’s spring cleaning time at the Socorro County riverine parks — trash and old tires are littering the bosque along the Rio Grande, especially from Brown Arroyo southward. Anyone wanting to lend a hand to tidy up Socorro’s native cottonwood forest should plan to show up at Otero Park at 9 a.m. Friday. Wear sturdy shoes, outdoor work clothes, gloves and a hat.

The Otero Street Riverine Park is located at the east end of Socorro’s Otero Street, which is the cross street just north of the John Brooks Supermart.

Volunteers will join with work crews from the state forestry department, the U. S. Bureau of Land Management, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, and local federal wildlife refuges to beautify five riverine parks, starting with two at Brown Arroyo and moving south to San Antonio. Lunch at the Owl Bar will be provided for everyone participating.

SOBTF members have located huge trash and tire dumping grounds to the south of Socorro.

“There’s a big trash pile, and tires in there,” said SOBTF board member Priscilla Guin.

To improve access to the riverine park sites for clean-up crews and the public, the BLM will deploy two masticators — huge brush-chewing machines — to clear shrubs and weeds around the picnic tables today.

The machines will open up areas around the picnic sites already designated as open spaces said Socorro county fire marshal Fred Hollis, and SOBTF treasurer.

“Clearing the salt cedar around the picnic table creates fire breaks,” Hollis said.

Opening up the area around the picnic tables also attracts more people to the parks, SOBTF President Doug Boykin said. More people in the parks on legitimate business decreases vandalism and littering.

The nonprofit Save Our Bosque Task Force’s mission is to protect the Rio Grande and the lands adjoining it in Socorro County and enhance opportunities for the public to enjoy and use these fragile riparian areas responsibly. The public is encouraged to join the task force.

For more information about the SOBTF or the cleanup day, contact Boykin at the New Mexico state forestry office on Highway 60, just behind Ark of Socorro Veterinary Clinic, or call 575-835-9359.

 

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