PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Thousands of volunteers helped make Oregon a little cleaner during SOLVE's annual SOLVE It for Earth Day cleanup.

Over the weekend, 5,500 volunteers collected about 49,000 pounds of trash from over 170 sites across Oregon.

SOLVE said volunteers found some interesting items during the cleanup including shopping carts, metal fences, a ceiling fan, and microplastics.

In addition to collecting trash, volunteers cleared invasive, non-native plants. Volunteers also planted over a thousand native trees and shrubs.

The SOLVE IT for Earth Day event first began in 1990, mainly focusing on cleanups in Portland-area neighborhoods.

Today, the event has grown statewide and has become one of the largest Earth Day events in the nation, according to SOLVE.

"This year marks SOLVE's 50th anniversary and I'm thrilled to see SOLVE IT for Earth Day stronger than ever," said Kris Carico, SOLVE's CEO. "It is amazing what can be accomplished when community members come together and work towards a common goal of caring for Oregon. The numbers always impress me, and it makes me extremely happy to be leading such a committed group of volunteers."

Highlights from SOLVE IT for Earth Day:

  • PGE employees, along with dozens of community members removed 360 pounds of trash from the Springwater Trail in SE Portland. The new Director of Portland Parks & Recreation, Adena Long, spoke to volunteers before the event and thanked them for their contribution to the community.
  • Community organizations, local businesses, families, and community members all came together in the Central Eastside District in Portland to clean up the neighborhood and make sure litter did not reach the nearby Willamette River. Over 150 volunteers participated this year, removing an amazing 1,700 pounds of trash.
  • In Eugene, volunteers took care of Alton Baker Park, ensuring this beautiful community asset was clean and healthy for Earth Day. 68 volunteers removed 1,100 pounds of trash from the park.
  • In Eastern Oregon outside Nyssa, 10 amazing volunteers removed 180 tires from public lands. This hard work not only beautified the area, it also helped prevent harmful materials from harming water quality.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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