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John Abbe, 88, cleans up the American River Parkway

John Abbe, 88, picks up garbage in an abandoned homeless camp along the American River near the Howe Avenue river access on June 1 as a volunteer steward for the American River Parkway Foundation. He was honored by the foundation as the Volunteer of the Year for his 30 years of service to help maintain his mile of the parkway through the Adopt-A-Mile program.
John Abbe, 88, picks up garbage in an abandoned homeless camp along the American River near the Howe Avenue river access on June 1 as a volunteer steward for the American River Parkway Foundation. He was honored by the foundation as the Volunteer of the Year for his 30 years of service to help maintain his mile of the parkway through the Adopt-A-Mile program. lsterling@sacbee.com

As he climbs down steep hills and over fallen tree limbs to the shoreline, John Abbe finds an abandoned homeless camp and trash dump along the American River Parkway. He uses a pair of metal grabbers and fills several large trash bags with garbage. He then carts it out to the nearest dumpster at the Howe Avenue river access. Abbe is one of the official stewards of the American River Parkway Foundation’s Adopt-the-Parkway program, and he helps to maintain a mile near Howe Avenue on the south side of the American River. He was recently honored by the foundation as their Volunteer of the Year for removing “thousands of pounds of unsightly and dangerous debris from the American River Parkway” over the past 30 years. At 88, Abbe has slowed his pace a bit as an avid cyclist, runner and swimmer, but he hasn’t stopped in his efforts to maintain the natural beauty of the parkway. “It’s a marvelous place,” said Abbe. “I’d like to think that I’m making somewhat of a difference to help keep it pristine.”

To suggest a community volunteer for the I Care column, contact lsterling@sacbee.com

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