October 8, 2009

Getting Ready for Jeff City...

Jefferson City Missouri River Clean-up

Carl R. Noren Access, North Jefferson City

September 19, 2009

text by Steve Schnarr

When Lewis, Clark and the crew passed by the Jefferson City area in 1804, they noted an island called Cedar Island (of course, they spelled it “Seeder Island”) with massive groves of old growth eastern red cedar. By 1819, when the Henry Atkinson/Stephen Long Expedition passed by in 1819, the cedars had all been cut down. Thus began a lot of changes on this stretch of the river….

Well, the capitol dome has been a nice addition, and even better, the murals inside by Thomas Hart Benton. But my favorite change has been the transformation of Carl R. Noren Access from a bleak, trashy, utilitarian boat ramp into a wonderful riverside haven, complete with flowers, landscape timbers, bird feeders and benches.

Volunteer Joe Wilson has been behind much of the changes, but not without the help of the Jeff.City Parks & Rec. Dept. and the Jeff. City Master Naturalists. But it has certainly been his vision that added many of the unique touches, including the signpost with mileage to each major Missouri River City called “Wilson’s Serenity Point”.

As our way of celebrating the 20th anniversary of Missouri Stream Team (we are team # 1875), we decided to have a Missouri River Clean-up right there, across the river from the state capitol building. Makes for a very photogenic background as trash rolls in to the ramp.

This was the final event in our week of activities in the mid-Missouri area called River Camp. (for more on River Camp, click here. We’ll be posting more as we get the chance!)

We pulled up stakes from California Island (Rivermile 177) on Friday, Sept. 18, and headed downstream to Noren Access to set up camp again and begin scouting the river for the next day’s clean-up.

We were greeted by Joe Wilson, who brought his own banner (“You Can Make a Difference”, it said) and some kindling for starting a fire. The beautiful September weather continued, and the scout went off without a hitch.

Our crewmembers Dyan Pursell and Allison Kellenberger set up a quickie kitchen and cooked up yummy fajitas for the crew. We had our planning pow-wow down by a fire on the river (thanks Joe!) and stumbled off to bed.

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