By Linda McKenna
Each Saturday and Sunday I have noticed my neighbor and her friend dawning their vests, sloggers, hats and needle proof gloves heading down to the Paradise Beach with her dog, Monkey. Leslie Laudon and her friend, Barbara Tseng, are on their way to give Monkey exercise but also to pick up bags of trash and debris along the American River Parkway.
For about seven years now, Leslie has been picking up trash along the American River Parkway. She and Barbara started out with just one large kitchen garbage bag but now have graduated to seven bags because that’s all they can reasonably carry. To date Leslie and Barbara have retrieved over 200 pairs of shoes, have seen mattresses, car parts and certainly sleeping bags. I asked Leslie what the strangest thing she had seen over the years and she said it was a grocery cart in a tree, which was successfully retrieved.
Through the first half of this year, Leslie and Barbara Tseng, with whom she often volunteers, have volunteered(logged) more than 50 hours, bagged and removed more than 1500 pounds of trash, and counted more than 200 pairs of shoes found on the Parkway. (No complete pairs though)
Leslie also focuses on removing invasive plants from the Parkway. She has been an “official” Invasive Plant Patrol volunteer with ARPF since 2012. In 2016 she hand pulled 1200 invasive plants. This year she has already surpassed that number.
The American River Park Rangers know Leslie well for all her hard work. Recently she was given an award (by the American River Parkway Foundation) for all her efforts in trying to keep our river free of debris and invasive plants.
As a River Park neighbor I want to give Leslie Laudon the recognition she so deserves in working so hard to help keep our river free from debris. She was not asked to take on this duty but simply saw a need to help keep our River Parkway clean and enjoyable for all our families. Thank you Leslie Laudon for caring!
If you’ve got a neighbor who deserves some extra attention for work they do for our neighborhood, please contact us with a story idea. Thanks!