- Associated Press - Saturday, April 18, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Over 8,500 volunteers celebrated Earth Day by cleaning up their communities around Oregon.

The cleanup on Saturday was organized by SOLVE, a statewide nonprofit that works to improve the environment.

The event has been taking place for nearly three decades. It draws families, community groups, individuals and businesses.

This year, over 25 tons of trash and debris were collected from 162 sites around the state. Invasive non-native plants were cleared from 11 acres and 3,000 native trees and shrubs were planted.

In Hillsboro, volunteers removed 7,200 pounds of trash from 50 miles of roadway and cleared three illegal dumpsites. 600 volunteers in West Linn planted 1,250 native shrubs. And volunteers in Cascade Locks cleared invasive species from more than a mile of trail in the Columbia Gorge.

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