May 5, 2007

Stream Team Clean-up - May 5, 2007

Sioux Passage Park, Florissant, MO

by Vicki Richmond and Steve Schnarr
photos by Vicki Richmond, Jen Courtney and Melanie Cheney
Saturday morning dawned drippy. Grass still wet from Friday's deluge made footwear decisions easy- a mud boot day for sure! After a crew meeting held over steaming fresh country eggs, the River Relief crew launched boats, set up the sign-in table and got supplies ready for action.

This clean up was a diversion from the usual River Relief uber-event. Designed for the Stream Team participants in the area, this clean up was as much about connecting people doing the tireless job of river keeping as it was about the trash. Smaller numbers of participants gave us opportunities to exchange savvy, stories and contact information, all while picking up trash.

Volunteers from Stream Teams #516, 1573, 211, and #1 (yes, Mark Van Patten, who started the first Stream Team, came too!) as well as the Parkway North Stream Team and the St. Louis Americorps ERT loaded in to boats and headed just a couple miles down stream to a large dump located on the MegaScout project last fall. A cast iron tub proved no match for these stalwarts. Motorcycles and bedsprings were loaded like cordwood into our plate boat, Saskia, and returned to the Sioux Passage ramp.

MDC fisheries biologist Danny Brown took out a crew of Stream Teamers from Parkway North High School for a “fishing” expedition, picking trash right out of the river from drift racks pushed aside by the rising water.

After lunch, crews boated to a spot upstream of the previous dump and soon found an abandoned boat up in the weeds. This is where the expertise of our crew of diehard Stream Teamers got really impressive. They popped the top half of the boat off, pulling the massive piece of fiberglass down the slope with a rope tied to the Saskia. Soon after, the hull came sliding down the bank as well. With a few careful maneuvers and tie-downs, they whole mass went boating back down to the ramp to be unloaded by the Sioux Passage front-end loader and deposited in the dumpster.

As tired crews returned to camp, MRR Quartermaster John Brady and a revolving crew of cooks served up a feast of delicious chicken roasted for hours on an open fire as stories of the day were recounted. An evening program hosted by author and MRR coordinator Jeff Barrow accompanied the riverside dinner. Stream Team members had the opportunity to present their activities to the group.

This networking opportunity is invaluable for planning, learning and cooperation across the watershed. Of course experiencing a river sunset, a sandbar campfire and a well-prepared dinner helps to build the next generation of river stewards as well.

Here's a partial tally of trash for the day:

23 large Stream Team bags of trash
8 tires
1 Several steel posts
1 TV stand
27 steel rods
1 air conditioner
1 motorcycle (Illinois license 554 421, Dec. 1984)
1 piece chrome trim
1 leaky washtub
one large water softener unit and tank

1/2 toilet tank
1 16 foot bass boat
1 metal roof truss
1 box spring
1 Nimrod popup camper (w/little red light)
partial furnace
5 fan blades
1 lawnmower
2 propane tanks
4 BIG metal rods
1 stainless steel restaurant deep fryer
15 feet of hardware cloth
1 mower deck
12 sheets of metal
3 t-posts
about 3/4 of a stove
1 torque converter for an automatic transmission
1 cast iron tub
2 bundles of wire
10 circus tent pegs
1 volleyball net and pole
1 fragmented toilet
2 wheels
several pieces of carpet
1 sewer pipe
1 portapotty wall
1 office chair pedestal
1 flame spreader
1 piece of chrome trim
1 TV antenna
1 tire rim
1 CB radio
1 55 gallon metal drum
1 muck bucket
1 water tank
1 spool
cluster of spaghetti wire
1 toilet lid
many, many balls of every kind!!!

this sunset was captured during the after rain river mist on Friday, May 4, by Vicki Richmond

1 comment:

ShowmeSpringer said...

Thanks for sharing your experience of the dump clean-up. Stream Team #2945 is doing preliminary planning for one on Spring River in Lawerence County. We'll use your synopsis to validate items on our TO DO checklist. Congratulations on your success in restoration of our beautiful natural resources.