Here are some of the events being planned to clean up and return local waterways to their pristine state in the Ocean Beach community:
• Youth Day of Service near the river mouth at Robb Field: Saturday, May 10 from 9 a.m. to noon. Meet at the Robb Field parking area at 2500 Bacon St. This event is hosted by the San Diego River Park Foundation and Friends of the River Mouth. Volunteers will be asked to rehabilitate a neglected section of the trail by tending to drought-tolerant native plants. Docents will provide guided tours of beautification efforts.
• Open house at the river mouth: Sunday, May 11, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Meet at the Dog Paw at the Dog Beach parking lot west of Voltaire Street. The event is hosted by Friends of the River Mouth. Come and explore one of few remaining coastal wetlands and its plants and animals. A guided tour will be offered of the unique coastal habitat.
• San Diego River bike ride: Saturday, May 17, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: Hosted by the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. Come enjoy a family bike ride. Meet at the bike park at Dog Beach. Bring your bike, appropriate attire, sunscreen, footwear, drinking water and a helmet.
• Planting a succulent native plant garden: Saturday, May 17, 9 to 11 a.m.: Meet at 4444 Greene St. Join Friends of the Point Loma Native Plant Garden and RECON Native Plants in a workshop on native plants and succulents, and help install a demonstration area at the garden. Bring work clothes, sunscreen and a reusable water bottle. Tools will be provided. Gardening gloves are suggested.
The back-to-back family-friendly weekend events will explore and celebrate the historic San Diego River from its origin to the east to its destination in Ocean Beach in the west.
In coordination with 32 partner organizations and agencies, 40 total events are planned along the San Diego River from Santa Ysabel to Ocean Beach, including hikes, bike rides, photography, river cleanups, history tours and other activities.
Nearly all the events are free of charge, thanks to Think Blue San Diego, SDG&E and other sponsors.
The San Diego River runs 52 miles from the mountains near Julian to the Pacific Ocean at Ocean Beach and offers many opportunities for nature exploration and recreation.
The annual River Days celebration is a chance to showcase these opportunities through guided experiences and to allow residents to claim a role and take pride in keeping local waterways pristine.
“The goal of San Diego River Days is to get people out enjoying all the river has to offer,” said Rob Hutsel, executive director of The San Diego River Park Foundation. “There are also some great ways to give back to the community, including the annual Youth Day of Service, where we expect over 1,000 youth and families to join us for 11 different community service projects on Saturday, May 10.
“Engaging our youth is essential to ensuring that the river is healthy, vibrant and celebrated by future generations. We invite all of San Diego to come out and join us,” he said.
For a complete list of the 40 events taking place during River Days, including directions and how to RSVP, visit www.sdriverdays.org.