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Arizona JACL Plans Gila River Monument Clean-up

GLENDALE, Ariz. — On Saturday, Nov. 3, Arizona JACL Chapter and community members will gather for the autumn Gila River Monument Clean-up.

This visit to the former World War II camp site will be marked as a time of remembrance. It is also a rare opportunity as the site is on an American Indian reservation and is not open to the public.

The project consists of picking up trash and painting over graffiti. Supplies, such as trash bags, paint, brushes, gloves, and water, will be provided. Participants are advised to wear outdoor-appropriate work clothing and footgear.

Participants will assemble at the Casa Blanca Market/Gas Station, 2577 Casa Blanca Rd. in Bapchule, Ariz., located off Exit 175 from the I-10, promptly at 9 a.m. A Gila River Land Use Ordinance officer will escort the group onto the monument site via car caravan. If entering the site, participants are required to provide their names and the description and license plate of their vehicles to the officer.

If interested in this project, submit names and vehicle information to Donna Cheung, or (602) 501-3505 by Saturday, Oct. 27.

Lunch reception and programming to follow at the JACL AZ Hall, 5414 W. Glenn Dr. in Glendale.

According to Densho, Gila River, operated by the War Relocation Authority, was open from July 20, 1942 to Nov. 16, 1945 and held over 13,000 inmates, most of whom were from California. The camp was known for its baseball team, the Gila River Eagles, its prolific produce that fed most of the camps, and for being visited by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

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