The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Wildlife refuge to host spring cleanup

On April 30 and May 1, volunteers will help collect any litter or debris at the refuge that’s been covered by snow all winter.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is hosting its annual “Green Up Refuge Clean Up” at the end of the month, in an effort to clean the refuge and prepare for summer recreation.

Leah Eskelin, a visitor services park ranger at the refuge, said she’s eager to invite people out for an in-person cleanup effort.

“We like to share that time outdoors with members of the community,” she said.

The refuge wasn’t able to host the event last year because of growing concern of the coronavirus pandemic. Only refuge employees were tasked with clearing litter last spring.

This year, Eskelin said, volunteers will be pod-oriented and socially distanced.

People interested in volunteering for the event should gather their group and call Eskelin at 907-260-2820 with their most convenient day and time slot. Individuals may sign up as well, and may be paired with other single volunteers.

The first 50 people to sign up may also receive fun door prizes, sponsored by the Friends of Alaska Refuges.

“Everyone loves to recreate,” Eskelin said. “So the litter has to be picked up no matter what.”

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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