Atascadero Creek – Help Keep It Clean!

By: City Manager, Rachelle Rickard

Atascadero Creek has always been one of the treasured jewels of our community, meandering its way through town to eventually flow into the Salinas River and helping to provide the source of Atascadero’s water supply. Many residents fondly recall hot summer days spent fishing or frolicking in the Creek.  Protection of Atascadero Creek’s water quality and natural beauty is vital to the physical and mental well-being of our community.

Keeping Atascadero Creek and the nearby community pathways clean, attractive and inviting is a continual challenge, despite multiple and ongoing City and volunteer efforts. The City performs regular creek clean-up activities, which includes encampment clean-ups as well as annual brush removal in the areas permitted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Earlier this year, the City completed two major creek cleanups in partnership with Earthshine, a local non-profit group that hosts and coordinates these types of community clean-up events. On both occasions, we had plenty of eager Atascadero volunteers who came out to lend a hand, for which the City is very grateful. These events were successful joint collaborations between Earthshine, Atascadero City Council and staff members, and all the wonderful community volunteers.

Another opportunity for volunteers to assist in these types of efforts is the Annual Creek Clean-Up Day, which will be held this year on Saturday, September 18, 2021 from 9 a.m. to noon. This event is put on each year as a partnership between the Atascadero Mutual Water Company (AMWC), Waste Management and the City of Atascadero, along with a much-appreciated contingent of hard-working community helpers. Literally, tons of trash is removed from the City’s creeks and the Salinas River bed each year. Local volunteer groups and individuals are always welcome!  Participants will meet at 9:00 a.m. at the AMWC yard on Sycamore Avenue. More information and a flyer for this event will be posted soon.

Atascadero Creek cleanup is an activity that civic-minded community members can perform while safely enjoying the great outdoors and demonstrates the type of community spirit that continues to make Atascadero a wonderful place to live. We encourage our residents to join in these clean-up efforts by participating in one or more of the large-scale community events, or by contacting their church or other local volunteer organization that may already undertake these types of activities on a regular basis. In addition, individuals who want to do what they can to help keep Atascadero Creek beautiful, in-between the regularly scheduled community activities, may contact our Public Works Department to help pre-arrange for assistance with trash disposal, if needed.

For more information about this particular topic, please contact our Public Works Department at 805-470-3456, or feel free to contact me at

City Manager, Rachelle Rickard

Rachelle Rickard is a native of California and a nearly 30 year resident of Atascadero. She graduated with a business degree from California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University in San Luis Obispo. In February 1997, She took a job as the Accountant with the City of Atascadero and was promoted to the position of Director of Administrative Services. At the time of her appointment to the position of Administrative Services Director for the City of Atascadero, she was the youngest person ever appointed to that role; she was also the first female Department Head ever appointed within the City. Rachelle Rickard was appointed to the position of City Manager of the City of Atascadero in June, 2013.