May 6, 2008

Hartsburg photos & more...

Hartsburg Missouri River Clean-up
April 26, 2008
MDC Hartsburg Public River Access

Quote exchange of the day - Alia Koehn-Franz, age 10: “This was the best day of my life!”
Jeff Barrow: “What made it the best day of your life?”
Alia: “I got to go out on a boat in the river!”

These moments are what we’re after on these clean-ups. Just to get out on the big river can be a transformative experience for many people, especially children. After having driven over the Big Muddy on bridges, for many folks these clean-ups are their first time to actually get out on the river. After dodging driftwood in a big boat, climbing up muddy banks and picking up bags full of trash, getting splashed by a silver carp and possibly finding a morel mushroom in the process, they’ll never look at the river the same way again.

After filling bags of trash with plastic and glass bottles, perhaps finding a trash treasure along the way, they’ll never look at their waste stream in the same way either. And at the end of the day, we’ve cleaned up the river we love.

It’s our belief that real change happens when people get out in nature and do stuff. Act and work to make our rivers, which we demand so much from, a better place.

To check out another participant’s take on the event, check out the great blog by marathon racer Deanna Stoppler from Englewood, MO.

And here's some more great photos taken by our crew....

right: Chuelo Arias, an Americorps Stream Team Assistant from Missouri River Communities Network, gets ready to scour the woods for trash. Photo by Dory Colbert.

left: A volunteer wrestles a tire innertube from the mud.
Photo by Dory Colbert.

Melanie Cheney takes a break from ramp dispatch to net "floaters" from the high river.
photo by Lindsay Tempinson.

WalMart employees from the Conley Road store brought coolers full of ice, water and soda for lunch.
Here, Jeff Barrow is pushing them off as Tim Nigh takes them out for an after lunch trash get.
Photo by Melanie Cheney.

Here's how the whole trash sorting scene went. First, bags of unsorted trash are offloaded from boats into MDC Bobcat driver Charlie Nelson's bucket.
Charlie dumps all the bags at the sorting station. photo by Dory Colbert.

Crews dump out the contents of the bags on a big tarp and get to sorting. Dogs look on in bewilderment.
photo by Dory Colbert.

It's a crazy fast-paced scene, but recyclables are sorted out from everything else. The "Tally Ho", a rotating job, keeps track of interesting objects found amongst all the junk.
Photo by Dory Colbert.

Right: Jeanie Kuntz dumps a bucket of plastic bottles in the recycling bin donated by Civic Recycling. Plastic bottles are probably the most common trash found on the Missouri River, floating in from countless tributaries and storm drains. Both the plastic bin and the landfill dumpster were filled to overflowing by the end of the day.

Photo by Lindsay Tempinson.

All in all, it was a lot of hard work, a ton of fun, and a great day for families and for the river!
photo by Lindsay Tempinson.

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