July 13, 2009

Post 4th of July River Road Cleanup

Easley, MO

It was a hot & humid day on the river, and not a breeze stirred. It was the kind of day that reminded me why we don't do River Clean-ups in the Summer time here in the midwest. Yet, a hardy crowd or river rats gathered at Cooper's Landing for a day of festivities on the beautiful Big Muddy.

Three of our crew staffed a safety boat and presented to the many participants of a Big Muddy Float, organized by our sister organization, Missouri River Communities Network.

Six of our crew gathered for a post-4th of July River Road Clean-up, to dispose of the careless trash left by people who think it's cool to blow stuff up down on the banks of the river, and then leave all of their trash there. We were able to clean a 4 mile stretch of road before half of us started dropping like flies due to the heat. The crew on the river were also able to clean a small stretch, netting a refrigerator in addition to the wasted fireworks & assorted litter on her sandy beaches.

Here is a list of what we found in just 5 miles on the river!

9 bags of Trash
9 bags of Recyclables
1 box & 2 bags of Fire Works remains
3 Coolers
1 Refrigerator
1 large Truck Tire
1 Computer Monitor in pieces
1 Styrofoam Chunk 2'x2'
1 Toshiba 27" TV in pieces
1 moldy Mattress & Box Springs set
1 bag of seasoned Catfish remains
1 bag full of unopened Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies
1 dozen fancy Bottle Rockets
1 Magnum Condom wrapper
1/2 of a Fishing Pole
1 Fishing Net
3 good Sparklers

This amounts to approximately 1/2 a ton of trash!

I hope someday people will have more respect for this special place. At one point, we were cleaning a highly used beach right off of the road where people come to party and fish, there were at least three pairs of fishermen & women sitting there when we showed up, and to our surprise, they started helping us clean the beach, bringing us armfuls of plastic bottles, cans & fishing trash. It probably took us 5 minutes to clean it up with so many hands, and I think both parties were thankful & aware that, yes, there are some people out there who use and care for the river too!

A big thanks goes out to our volunteer crew members who survived such harsh conditions to clean the river!

Anthony Pettit
Joe Engeln
Steve Schnarr
Melanie Cheney
Lynne Hooper
Ruthie Moccia
Dyan Pursell
Scot Heidbrink
John Brady

and as always, to the Boone County Public Works Department for allowing us to Adopt-a-Road & pile massive amounts of trash on it for them to pick up.

Thank you!

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