Americorps Clean Up San Joaquin River

March 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
An arm of the national service corps is in the Valley doing a makeover on the San Joaquin River. A 10-person crew from Americorps NCCC is working along the river this month. They've pulled big piles of arundo from the riverbed and now they're turning the giant reeds into stakes. They'll use those stakes to protect some native plants they're putting back along the river.

The team says it's been rewarding to work on the San Joaquin. "I've done some environmental work, but not on this big of a scale," said Ali Lazarus of Americorps NCCC, "so it's been really nice learning about different plants and the river and what's been going on."

Right now, there are 75,000 jobs with Americorps, but Congress is expected to expand it this week. They're planning to increase the number of positions to 250,000 and make the pay a little better as well.

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