This week, Chris Guptill and Darin Jesberg, will be awarded Volunteer Excellence recognition awards from the California State Parks & Recreation Society. This recognition will honor their work on the Tuolumne River Regional Park and the Operation 9-2-99 movement they spearheaded in 2014.
The Tuolumne River Clean Up Project (Operation 9-2-99) that began in June, 2014 led by Guptill and Jesberg has had a visible impact, harnessing the efforts of 945 volunteers, removing 161 tons of garbage, 435 shopping carts and 405 tires along with mounds of trash and encampment debris. This project has significantly increased visitation to this area. Two Equestrian Trial competitions and a Kayaking event have occurred at the site as a result.
This region of the Tuolumne River, east of the 9th Street Bridge to West of Highway 99 has been a neglected area of City, marked by illegal dumping, human trash, homeless encampments, etc. which have damaged the natural habitat of the river and created blight. The City of Modesto, local businesses and nonprofit organizations like Love Modesto have supported the volunteer effort by providing community outreach, mobilizing additional volunteers, aligning labor resources, police resources, trash hauling, and heavy equipment for monthly clean ups.
The California State Parks and Recreation Society is presenting Outstanding Volunteer Awards in recognition of Chris Guptill and Darin Jesberg and their dedication to the Tuolumne River Park at the district meeting- Wednesday, Feb 24, at 9:00 a.m. at the Manteca Sr. Center.