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Volunteers clean up in Sand Canyon.

The Sand Canyon Volunteer Council sponsored a roadside cleanup of approximately four miles of Sand Canyon Road on Sunday, May 23. There was a great turnout of volunteer community members with 20 people showing up on a Sunday morning to each clean a half a mile of road. This spring the roadside was particularly bad with trash since cleanup events have had to be canceled due to COVID-19 shutdown of public events.

The group collected almost 400 pounds of trash in 29 bags. Gary Spiller of Sand Canyon picked up the bags and filled his trailer and the inside of his Ford Bronco to take the trash to the landfill before it closed at noon.

The Sand Canyon Volunteer Council adopted 5.6 miles of Sand Canyon Road from Kern County Adopt-A-Road program in 2001. The county supplies bags, vests, gloves and safety information. The county road department will also pick up the bags if needed. The Sand Canyon Volunteer Council communicates when an event is to be held via NextDoor and Facebook.

An electronic sign was set up by Randy Hardenbrook to alert drivers on the road of the upcoming event and to caution drivers to be aware of volunteers on the road during the cleanup. This year was especially challenging due to the increased traffic on Sand Canyon Road from a windmill project and their large water trucks. The event was held on a Sunday to try to avoid as much traffic as possible.

The volunteers from the Sand Canyon community consisted of mostly CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) members. This group of dedicated people focus on emergency preparedness for self, family, neighbors and community. The Sand Canyon team is part of the Greater Tehachapi CERT team sponsored by the Kern County Fire Department. Other events the team has participated in include an emergency evacuation route drill and manning a rest stop and doing traffic control for the GranFondo bicycle ride that ventured into Sand Canyon.

— Bernice Romo, Sand Canyon Volunteer Council