Chacon Creek clean-up set for Saturday, Sept. 9

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Volunteers who want to have a positive impact on the watershed of the Río Grande are urged to sign up for the Saturday, September 9 clean-up of Chacon Creek — the collective effort of City and County officials, non-profit organizations, and citizens.

“They can join the 200 who have already signed up for trash clean-up and the 20 who have signed up for graffiti removal by calling the Río Grande International Study Center (RGISC) at (956) 718-1063 or by signing up at,” said RGISC executive director Tricia Cortez.

Among the elected officials who are participating are Mayor Pro Tempore Alejandro Perez Jr., District III; Council member Alberto Torres Jr., District IV; Council member Vidal Rodriguez, District II; Webb County Commissioner Jesse Gonzalez, Pct. 1; and Webb County Constable Mike Villarreal, Pct. 2. Also participating are City Manager Horacio A. De Leon Jr., Keep Laredo Beautiful, the Rio Grande International Study Center, and several City and County departments.

Cortez noted that a RGISC/National Guard cleanup along Chacon Creek in November 2011 removed vast tonnage of garbage, but that regular clean-ups are the key to maintaining the general cleanliness of the watershed. “There are hot spots for sure, like the trashy areas left by anglers where the creek meets the river. We plan to make a big difference this Saturday,” she said.

Registration for Saturday’s work begins at 7:30 a.m. at any of the three staging areas along the trail — the James and María Luisa Haynes Recreational Center, Dryden Park, and Freddie Benavides Sports Complex Park.

The City and County will provide bags and gloves for the volunteers and materials for graffiti removal. City and County crews will coordinate the trash haul.

Cortez said that Southern Distributing is a corporate sponsor of the event and has donated $1,000 for the purchase of three shade trees that will find a home at the Haynes Rec Center.

A pre-clean-up press conference on Thursday just below the Meadow Street Bridge included a look at a piece of sculpture that calls attention to the bats who are part of the Chacon Creek ecosystem and make their home under the bridge.

The City of Laredo has joined with Webb County and their non-profit partners, the Rio Grande International Study Center and Keep Laredo Beautiful, to continue to heighten awareness of the natural beauty of the Chacon Creek watershed, its hike and bike trails, the ecosystem of its riparian habitat, and the need to care for them as a quality of life asset.

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