What's in Your Water? Nearly 6 Tons of Trash Removed
by Wapsi River Cleanup Volunteers
LONG GROVE, IA SEPTEMBER 9, 2006-- The first annual Lower Wapsipinicon River Cleanup Project, a canoeing- and camping-based river cleanup event, took place August 25-27, 2006. 25 volunteers removed 5.8 tons of trash from 22 miles of the Wapsipinicon River, the majority of it in Clinton County, from Walnut Grove Park in Toronto, Iowa, to Allen's Grove Park north of Donahue, Iowa.
"We wanted to bring people together, get them involved, and let them know they can do something to improve the health and beauty of the river," stated coordinators Melisa Petersen and KJ Rebarcak. "We knew the Wapsi needed cleaning, but when our volunteers were coming to shore with canoes sometimes loaded as high as their heads, we were simply floored."
The program provided free canoes, free camping, and low-cost meals, as well as a free, fun, and educational night hike led by a Clinton County Conservation Board naturalist.
Sponsors for this event included: Clinton County Conservation Board; Friends of the Wapsi Center, Inc., Dixon, IA; Clinton County Pheasants Forever; Paul's Discount, Clinton, IA; G. Baker Distributing, Clinton, IA; Allied Waste Services, Clinton, IA; Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency; KLJB-TV, Davenport, IA; Wapsi River Environmental Education Center, Dixon, IA; Jewel, Clinton, IA; Bonnie's Scenic Tavern, Clinton, IA; Hill Chiropractic Office, P.C., DeWitt, IA; MidAmerican Energy Company; Kimberly Crest Veterinary Hospital, P.C., Davenport, IA; Target, Clinton, IA; Soaring Eagle Nature Center, Clinton, IA; Mercy Medical Center, Clinton, IA; IPSCO Tubulars, Clinton, IA; and Alliant Energy.
A CLEAR (Community Leaders Enhancing Area Rivers) mini-grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources was also received. Organizers of the DNR's annual river cleanup, "Project AWARE (A Watershed Awareness River Expedition)," created the mini-grants in response to public demand. For details, visit iowaprojectaware.com.
The Lower Wapsipinicon River Cleanup Project is a grassroots organization with a twofold purpose: To remove trash from the river and dispose of it in an environmentally responsible manner; and to educate the public about the environment and the importance of caring for natural resources. They will be cleaning up a different section of the Lower Wapsipinicon each year in late August. For further information, or to get on a mailing list for next year, please write to LWRCP, PO Box 333, Long Grove, IA 52756, or visit http://showcase.netins.net/web/kjr/cleanup.html.