2018 Volunteer Highlights
MRCA Volunteer Recognition
Volunteers from the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) were recognized by the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Commission on February 8, 2018 for all their hard work to build and maintain trails in different Open Space properties. These committed volunteers set out most recently to clear the Elder Loop and Taylor Trails in Rivendale Park and Open Space, where the City just celebrated the opening of the Taylor Trailhead. The group continues their trail work, and is currently working with members of West Ranch’s National Honor Society, to work on the Taylor Trail.!
Tween Clean-Up Days at the Library
Canyon Country and Old Town Newhall Libraries hosted clean-up days for National Junior Honor Society members in January and February. Realizing the challenge that younger volunteers face in finding volunteer opportunities to fulfill their required NJHS hours, the libraries’ Volunteer Coordinators came up with these weekend projects. The libraries’ shelves get cleaned and organized, and the tweens get their community service hours – a win-win for all involved!
2018 is Off to a Great Start!
A group of 51 volunteers from the SCV Church of Christ spread about 800+ linear feet x 10’ of mulch on the burned area along Newhall Ranch Road on Saturday, January 20. The Youth Ministry volunteers made a huge dent on the 80 yards of mulch that staff had set aside for this area. What a way to start the new year!
2017 Volunteer Highlights
Our Marathon Volunteers Rock!
Close to 1,000 community members volunteered at the Marathon on November 5. Families and individuals served as Course Monitors and helped at the Recovery Zone while 30 groups volunteered at water stations, and cheer teams from local high schools handed out medals at the Finish Line. For the first time, all water stations were manned by groups, including Girl Scout Troops, Cub Scout Packs, church groups, schools, school clubs, and businesses. New groups included Nike Clearance Store, Hart High School’s National Honor Society, Key Club Division 16 North, Trinity Classical Academy, Valencia High School’s Unicef Chapter, Saugus High Dance Team, and Gervais School of Performing Arts.
Princess Cruises Employees Painted McBean Parkway Bridge
Twenty-four agents from Princess Cruises volunteered and spent part of their morning on June 8 painting the McBean Parkway Bridge by the Post Office and McDonalds. The lead for this project sent an email thanking staff for this “very successful volunteer day” and said their “agents had a blast!“
LDS Youth Completed Four Projects in One Day
As part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ Valencia Stake Youth Conference, 127 volunteers from this church group worked with City staff to do clean-up, painting, and beautification projects on Saturday, June 10. They painted a wood rail fence at Canyon Country Park, cleared trails in Towsley Canyon Open Space, did graffiti clean-up, and spread mulch at Central Park. Their organizer thanked staff for coordinating these projects which, she said “were all very organized and meaningful for our youth groups.” These projects were made possible through the coordination and collaboration among staff from the Volunteer Engagement Program, Engineering-CIP, Parks, Community Preservation, and Environmental Services.
Open Space Trails Volunteer Program
The trails volunteer group completed their work on the Elder Trail, a 1.7-mile trail in the Taylor Open Space. They began work on the Cabin Trail in the Gateway Open Space and is anticipated to be completed by the end of the summer. As a thank you and recognition of this group’s hard work and the many hours they spent working on our trails, the group was presented with a new set of backpack trail tools.
Volunteers Thanked and Recognized for their Contributions
The Volunteer Recognition Pool Party was held on Saturday, May 20. Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste was on hand to thank City volunteers for their contributions to the City and the community. Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Commissioner Dianna Boone joined her in recognizing the 2016 Loyalty Club awardees, volunteers who gave 100 hours or more to City programs (there were 44 volunteers in 2016). City volunteers are a huge asset for the City; a total of 6,626 volunteers gave 63,455 hours to the City in 2016, valued at $1.81M.
T’was a Busy Spring for City Volunteers!
April and May are typically busy event months for the City, as they are for volunteers who are an integral part of City events and programs. In the past month and a half, over 600 volunteers helped with the Cowboy Festival, Earth Arbor Day, Eggstravaganza, Splash-&-Dash Egg Hunt, CERT Simulation Drill, Amgen Tour of California, Youth Sports programs, and beautification and clean-up projects.
2016 Volunteer Highlights
Marathon Volunteers Were a Big Help!
Volunteers came in full force for the 21st Santa Clarita Marathon. Approximately 900 volunteers helped to make the Marathon on November 6 another success, most of them manning water stations while others served as Course Monitors along the race route. Different groups were represented, including Girl and Cub Scouts, church groups, schools and school clubs, businesses, and non-profits. It was a friends-and-family affair for some. Cheer teams from Canyon, West Ranch, Valencia, and Saugus High Schools cheered the runners as they crossed the Finish Line and gave them their medals, while the Santa Clarita Christian School Cheerleaders helped make the Final Mile Challenge Start Line a fun place to be. A runner sent an email and said, “Having volunteers with water at so many points – fantastic! Not only that but they were cheering us on at the same time – felt so terrific.”
Volunteers Traded Roller Coasters for Poppy Seeds
Eighty-seven Magic Mountain employees traded their usual activities in the theme park for a day of service in the City’s Open Space properties, including Iron Horse/Round Mountain, Towsley Canyon/Rivendale, and Wildwood on November 3. As part of Six Flags’ Project 6, the company’s annual day of service, the volunteers helped with a revegetation project and planted 170 pounds of poppy and wildflower seeds in areas impacted by the Sand, Sage, and Calgrove Fires.
River Rally Volunteers Came Through Again!
More than 1,300 community members, from age 3 to 82, volunteered to help clean a portion of the Santa Clara River on Saturday, September 17. Students, Girl and Boy Scouts, school clubs, service organizations, families, and individuals wanting to give back came early, went through the Biologist Training, grabbed their gloves and bags, and trekked to the portion of the river behind the Newhall Community Center to pick up trash. After the clean-up, they enjoyed the Environmental Expo, and were treated to Kona Ice and a small token.
ROP Forestry Students Volunteer @ Quigley Canyon and Whitney Canyon Open Spaces
Hart District’s ROP Forestry students braved the heat in June to work on trails maintenance projects in Quigley Canyon and Whitney Canyon. The group did 100 dedicated crew hours in Quigley Canyon, removing trash and metal debris, and clearing and restoring a mile of equestrian trails. They also did 50 hours of work at Whitney Canyon and restored ¼ mile of tread, and bucked (chain-sawed) and removed a downed tree.
City Volunteers Joined 4th of July Parade
City volunteers, young and old, proudly represented the City of Santa Clarita and its Volunteer Engagement Program at the 4th of July Parade in Newhall. Wearing volunteer shirts from different City events, they walked alongside the hometown trolley (which was given a make-over with banners depicting volunteers in action), while others waved American flags from inside the trolley. In line with this year’s parade theme, Volunteering Makes Us Stronger, we can say that City volunteers truly make a difference for a stronger Santa Clarita!
Amgen Tour of California Volunteers Were All Over Town
Orange Amgen volunteer shirts dotted parts of the race route on Monday, May 16, worn by volunteer Course Marshals who helped provide a safe venue for the Amgen Tour of California (ATOC) Stage 2 Finish. Meanwhile, volunteer Security Ambassadors, in their blue shirts, could not be missed as they controlled access to certain areas by the Finish Line. Other volunteers helped at the Volunteer Check-In, Media Room, and Press Conference, bringing the total ATOC volunteers to 56. This year’s volunteers came not only from Santa Clarita but also from neighboring cities and from as far away as New York.
Trees, Lady Bugs, and Fun Activities Kept Volunteers Engaged
A total of 177 volunteers, between the ages of three and 68, helped with Earth Arbor Day on April 16-17. Girl Scout troops, school groups, and families planted trees throughout Central Park, while other volunteers helped with activity booths such as solar cooking, giving out lady bags and mulch, tagging give-away trees and bags, re-purposing old Earth Arbor Day shirts, and assisted with arts and craft projects. Volunteer Engagement staff received positive comments about the volunteers from other City staff and Festival attendees.
A Busy and Egg-citing Day for City Volunteers!
Saturday, March 26, was a very busy day for City volunteers. Thirty-two teen volunteers helped to make Eggstravaganza on March 26 another success. Sixteen volunteers stuffed thousands of eggs with gift cards prior to the event, and another 16 spread the eggs across the fields and handed out special prizes to excited kids on event day. A couple of volunteers also donned bunny costumes and sat down with kids (and parents!) for photos.
On the other side of town, nine volunteers helped Aquatic staff with Splash-&-Dash Egg Hunt, while another five volunteers had fun assisting with the Youth Arts Showcase.
2015 Volunteer Highlights
Marathon Volunteers Spread Some Cheer (and Water)
Over 900 volunteers helped make the 20th Santa Clarita Marathon on November 8, 2015 run smoothly and cheered runners along the way. Volunteers manned water stations and provided water and PowerAid to runners, while others served as Course Monitors. Fourteen groups came back this year to help with the water stations, joined by four groups who are volunteering for the first time (Paseo Club, Team Kryptonite, Girl Scout Troop 4252, and Valencia High’s Sports Medicine students). Cheer leaders from five high schools provided lots of energy and fun at the Finish Line while handing out medals to the runners, and cheered KidK and Final Mile Challenge participants.
Do Good Bus Volunteers Did Good in Santa Clarita
Almost 100 volunteers from Boston Scientific boarded the Do Good Bus on October 16, 2015 for a clean-up and beautification project at Quigley Canyon. The volunteers planted six oak trees, trimmed trees, and did wildflower seeding throughout the canyon. This was facilitated by Do Good Bus, a non-profit based in Venice that brings people together to help local causes. City staff from Parks Planning and Open Space, Urban Forestry, Environmental Services, and the Volunteer Engagement Program worked together to make this project possible.
Residents Give Back
Over 1,200 community members came out to help clean a portion of the Santa Clara River at the 21st annual River Rally on September 19, 2015. Volunteers — young and old — donned hats and sunscreen, and armed with gloves and orange trash bags, collected tons of trash on this day of giving back to the community.
Volunteers Helped Provide Fun and Excitement at the Youth Sports and Healthy Families Festival
Sixty-two volunteers put in 242 hours at the Youth Sports and Healthy Families Festival on August 22, 2015, and helped provide a fun and safe environment for community members. Volunteers assisted staff in various areas, including kayaking, paddle boarding, lawn games, football toss, golf, soccer, tennis, basketball, and the tricycle area, information booth, volunteer booth, and healthy families experience area, among others.
Tree Wells, Trails, and Terrific Volunteers
Staff from the Parks Planning and Open Space Division and the Volunteer Engagement Program worked closely to organize three volunteer projects at Quigley Canyon between March and May, 2015. As a result, 55 volunteers, most of whom were Latter-Day Saints missionaries and a few from AmeriCorps, dug 100 tree wells, cleared trails, and removed metal fences. Notwithstanding the hard work, eight of the volunteers helped at all three projects and another nine volunteered twice.
Rain or Shine — Our Volunteers were there for the Amgen TOC!
Fifty-six volunteers braved the elements on May 14, 2015 when the Amgen Tour of California rolled into town. Volunteers helped as Course Marshals, Security Ambassadors, Medical Control Escorts, Team Meal Volunteers, and assisted in the Press Workroom, Media Check-in, and Volunteer Check-In. Despite the inclement weather, volunteers willingly did their share and helped the City give the cyclists, fans, and tour organizers a warm Santa Clarita welcome.
Another 16 volunteers, some from as far away as Big Bear and Costa Mesa, stepped up to help with the Time Trials on May 15, which were moved at the last minute from Big Bear to Santa Clarita because of the weather.
One local volunteer stated, “Thank you…for the unique opportunity to participate in the subject Race. It was a great experience and I was able to see the Race from an entirely different perspective. Keep me in mind for the next one.”
Earth Arbor Day Volunteers
Over 170 volunteeers, between the ages of three and 67, helped make the Earth Arbor Day Festival on April 11, 2015 a success. The younger volunteers helped with tree planting while teens and adults assisted with the different activity booths, mulch distribution, tree tagging, volunteer check-in, and served as festival guides.
National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government (NAVPLG) Spotlight
The City of Santa Clarita’s Volunteer Engagement Program was featured in NAVPLG’s Spring 2015 newsletter. The spotlight outlines what the City is doing to celebrate and recognize volunteers.
Volunteers Stuffed Some Fun into Eggstravaganza
Twenty-four volunteers stuffed thousands of eggs with donated gift certificates in preparation for the Eggstravaganza event on April 4, 2015. Seven other volunteers helped at the actual event, spreading the eggs over the fields at Central Park, monitoring the fields, and keeping thousands of eager kids behind the lines until PR&CS Commissioner Duane Harte gave the green light for the egg hunt.
The volunteers helped spread some more joy by assisting members of the Saugus Action Committee in handing out special prizes.
Cowboy Festival Ranch Hands
About 220 volunteers contributed to the success of the Cowboy Festival on April 15-18, 2015. Volunteers lent a helping hand at the City’s information, media, and merchandise booths, served as food court runners and ushers at the various venues and stages, and assisted with festival activities, including archery, mechanical bull, hatchet throwing, and quick draw, among others. In addition, volunteers set up for the show at Rancho Camulos and helped the SCV Historical Society with their events.
Cowboy Festival Volunteer Round-Up
Approximately 125 community members attended the Cowboy Festival Volunteer Round-Up on March 24, 2015, where staff provided information about the new Festival venues as well as standard and new activities. The round-up attracted first-time Cowboy Festival volunteers and others who were interested in learning more about the event. Majority of those who attended were returning volunteers (some have been volunteering for the Festival for over 15 years!) who were curious about the changes to the event.