Grass Valley, Calif. (April 21, 2023) – In recognition of Earth Day, Hospitality House is co-hosting a camp cleanup with Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) on Thursday, May 4. Inspired by Star Wars fans everywhere, Hospitality House is having fun with the popular “May the 4th be With You” Jedi greeting and will be offering Star Wars-themed t-shirts to all who volunteer to help as a token of thanks.
While Hospitality House routinely hosts in-house and community camp cleanups, this one is particularly exciting as Hospitality House homeless guests, staff and volunteers will work side-by-side with a host of partner organizations (listed below) to clean up land for the community to enjoy.
The 128-acre parcel, held in escrow by BYLT, will be christened Wildflower Ridge Preserve.
“There are many special attributes of this land,” shared Erin Tarr, executive director of BYLT. “It contains special lava cap soils, it is home to spotted owls, a vast array of native wildflowers, and beautiful black oak woodlands, just to name a few.”
Local ornithologist, Allison Nelson, concurred with Tarr, noting: “This was among the top ten birding experiences I have ever had. Two different habitats, lava cap meadow and canyon-side conifer forest, come together to make for a unique ecotone. It’s truly a treasure for this community.”
In order to assess activity in the homeless camps located on the property, and target specific areas for cleanup, Hospitality House Director of Strategic Operations, Joe Naake, and Nevada County Enhanced Care Management (ECM) RN, Casey Davey, walked the land and engaged with homeless inhabitants, offering shelter and case management services, in addition to enlisting their help for the cleanup.
“It was promising to see that while most camps were abandoned, the one homeless inhabitant we spoke with was already actively cleaning up the land,” said Naake. “He was also open to making use of our shelter services instead of relocating his camp, which is one of our main goals when providing outreach engagement. We try to help as many people as possible exit the woods and access our shelter This not only increases their likelihood of returning to housing, but also reduces fire danger in the process.”
Hospitality House is inviting the public to join the collaborative cleanup efforts but asking volunteers to keep in mind that the location is difficult to navigate with steep slopes, uneven footing and limited accessibility by vehicles.
Know and Go – Advance Registration Required by April 30
To ensure that enough food and Star Wars-themed t-shirts are on hand, all volunteers are required to register by April 30. Volunteers aged 14-17 may help with a parent/guardian present. To register, please email email@example.com or call (530) 615-0852 by April 30.
When: Thursday, May 4
Time: 8:30am to approximately 1:30pm
Where: Twin Cities Church (TCC) parking lot at 11726 Rough and Ready Hwy, Grass Valley, CA 95945
What to bring: Gloves, a shovel (if you have one), sunscreen, bug spray and a truck (if you have one)
What to wear: Long pants, hiking shoes/boots, and of course, your complimentary Hospitality House Star Wars t-shirts
On the day of the event, all volunteers will undergo a brief requisite safety training, along with signing of liability releases. Breakfast snacks, bottled water and a lunch donated by BriarPatch Food Co-op will be provided.
Hospitality House is grateful for the many organizations lending a hand with this effort: BYLT, Nevada County ECM, Nevada County Waste Management, South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), Twin Cities Church, Nevada County Code Compliance ,The Union, Bicyclists of Nevada County (BONC), FREED Center for Independent Living and BriarPatch Food Co-op.
For questions about the camp cleanup or to register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 615-0852. For those unable to participate in the cleanup but still wanting to help, donations to support the work of Hospitality House are always appreciated. Donations may be made at hhshelter.org, by calling 530-615-0852, or by sending a donation made payable to Hospitality House at 1262 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945.