Kids Club cleans up Carson Country

From the beaches of Washoe Lake to the fish hatchery on the Lahontan Reservoir, nearly 35 young people are cleaning up.

"These kids do a lot to help out the environment," said Tammy Phelps, the leader of the Sierra Rangers Group at the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada. "They have a lot of fun, too."

The group consists of 9- to 14-year-olds from the Club and the Carson City Parks and Recreation Department.

"I like to help clean up stuff because it helps the environment," said Linda Lane, an 11-year-old member of the group.

Every Tuesday and Thursday the group meets to tackle projects that involve the environment.

"They're seeing the effects of all the trash," Phelps said. "It makes them more aware of the things that they do."

Thursday the young volunteers were out at Washoe Lake raking the debris off of the beach.

"Washoe is kind of our special project," Phelps said. "We come out here a lot."

Jim Black, of Nevada State Parks, said the group's work is important to the lake.

"It's real helpful to have them come out," he said. "It also teaches them to take care of the environment and take care of their parks. The parks belong to them."

"It's a real popular swimming area. People like to sit on the beach and sunbathe," Black said. "When the sticks get all piled up, it gets hard for them to do that."

Jeramy Tronson, 9, joined the club to make a difference.

"Living things deserve to live," he said. "I like to work so the environment is clean and so it doesn't get killed."

In addition to cleaning up sites, the group also participates in instructional activities.

For example, they hiked around Dead Man's Creek to see the effects of a fire that burned there last year. They also toured an archeological dig in Virginia City.

Phelps said a cleaner environment is not the only benefit that the group offers.

"They get to know each other really well," she said. "They get to be good friends."

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