Wildlife refuge to host community cleanup Wednesday

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge will host a community cleanup Wednesday.

The three-hour Green Up, Clean Up volunteer event is part of a week-long effort by refuge staff to rid roadways of trash accumulated during the winter months.

“The intent is to put out the welcome mat for our visitors and for our community members, who are starting to get out and stretch their legs,” wildlife refuge park ranger Leah Eskelin said.

Volunteers should meet up at the visitors center at 2 p.m., where they will team up with refuge staff before fanning out to designated cleanup areas. Staff will provide instruction on wildlife safety ahead of the cleanup, and designate individuals to handle any hazardous trash.

Although refuge staff hold a cleanup annually, this is the first time in the past five or six years that a community-wide event is happening, Eskelin said. She said the cleanup is a good opportunity for community members to get to know refuge park rangers while spending some time enjoying the outdoors.

“We just think this refuge is pretty special and we want to share it,” Eskelin said.

The event will end with cupcakes and hot cocoa at the refuge visitor center.

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