The days are crisp, the leaves are burnishing, and the summer traffic congestion is gone. Fall in Sisters is a special time to appreciate our natural beauty and prepare for the coming winter.

Part of that preparation includes the Fall Community Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 28, from 8 a.m. to noon. Sisters Park & Recreation District employees Mandee Seeley and Shannon Rackowski are spearheading the effort, which is part of statewide SOLVE activities during the month of September. Thousands of volunteers work to preserve and maintain the health of Oregon’s public beaches, forests, neighborhoods, rivers, and other natural areas, while cleaning up litter. Last spring’s Cleanup Day for Earth Day in Sisters netted six tons of trash collected in the four-hour period.

There are a number of ways to get involved. As a group, sign up and meet at SPRD on September 28, at 8 a.m. to get supplies and routes. As a business, encourage staff to clean up around your property and along roadways. Sponsor a team or individual, or donate supplies. As a school, encourage students and staff to clean up the school grounds and parking lot. The elementary school, assisted by the Sisters Community Church, and the middle school, have already volunteered to clean their properties. Individually, come to SPRD on Saturday, or gather friends and family and clean around your neighborhood.

The U.S. Forest Service identifies forest areas that need some attention after the summer camping season. Bags of trash collected on September 28 can be taken to the USFS Sisters ranger office on North Pine Street, where dumpsters will be available. If recyclables are separated, they will be sent for recycling and not to the landfill.

Aside from areas in the forest, there are several well-known “litter spots,” including along Highway 242 between the Cole Ranch to the south and the schools and churches on the north side. A walk along there reveals food wrappers, boxes, and cups from the nearby restaurants in the highway commercial district as well as bottles, cans, and other trash.

The Zimmerman cinder pit produced a huge load of trash during last spring’s cleanup, and again a few weeks ago shooting enthusiasts cleaned it up. Aside from spent bullets and shotgun shells, there is household and business trash left by local citizens.

In the forest are abandoned vehicles, refuse from construction sites, abandoned campsites, and household and commercial garbage.

Supplies including vests, gloves, garbage bags, and sharps containers are supplied, so pre-registration for the day helps to ensure there will be adequate cleanup materials available.

To register yourself or a group, go to www.sisters, call 541-549-2091, or register in person at SPRD, 1750 W. McKinney Butte Rd. (next to the high school).