After a packed but incredible week of education and outreach in Washington, MO, we ramped up our energy into working a river clean-up on Saturday side-by-side the Washington River Festival put on for the last 3 years by our favorite river ambassadors, Gloria Attoun-Bauermeister and Mike Smith. These two friends have really been working on growing a community of river lovers in Washington, an awareness for this powerful resource, as it should be, the river is the heart of this lovely little riverfront town.
Many of the children that had come out to the riverside education experience earier in the week came back with their families just itching to get out on the river and help us clean it up! The turnout was fantastic! 76 volunteers in addition to 8 people from Kohl's department store + 26 from the River Relief crew teamed up to clean the river!
Plus, Gloria put together an amazing River Festival, with educational
booths, fun activities for families, trash to art in action and REALLY
Here's the Washington tally!
110 clean-up volunteers went out on the river to clean up 9 miles with 3 River Relief boats signing up in shifts at the river festival. 133 bags of trash were collected from the river banks alongside 44 tires, 7 hunks o' styrofoam, 3 refrigerators, 1 microwave, 1 push mower, 1 black & white TV, pesticide sprayers, duck decoys, metal drums... the list goes on & on!
Check out the full set of Washington photos on our Flickr page!
A big muddy thanks to all of the super nice folks in Washington that made our stay a warm one. There are many, but a few outstanding ones that come to mind are Cheryl Heggemann at Manwell's coffee, the Washington boat club, the police & fire departments, the schools and teachers that participated, the Labadie Chef & crew, Mayor Lucy & Gary Lucy, trash-to-art artists Joey Los & Gale, and of course all of the hard working volunteers, Gloria Bauermeister & Mike Smith!
With warmed hearts & full bellies, we rolled on down to St. Charles... and moored at the Gateway Dredging Co. in Bridgeton. I enjoyed taking our barge dog Sombra on walks along the beautiful little riverside trail in the Riverwoods Conservation Area, where I had the pleasure of seeing some really cool old growth willow, cottonwoods, and mulberry trees!
Unfortunately, there was a beaver at work on some of those massive trees.
We really got down & dirty in St. Charles, starting with a crew clean-up on Friday that netted 3 boatloads of junk to include a potato planter farm implement, a john boat and a porta potty!
On Saturday, we took out 75 volunteers in two shifts and continued collecting massive piles of trash that had been washed in along the shores, also cleaning out old dump sites we found along the way. 27 employees from Boeing helped make a huge dent in our Clean Sweep efforts in St. Charles and a nice reporter from the St. Louis Today website came out to help document our work.
On Sunday the River Relief barge team hauled trash from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. collecting 149 bags of trash, 87 tires, 79 hunks of metal, barrels, car parts... even a riding lawn mower! My back still hurts! But the trash barge is finally starting to fill up.
Check out the full set of St. Charles photos on our Flickr page!
We wrapped things up in St. Charles on Tuesday and headed for the Confluence to complete our final week of the Big Muddy Clean Sweep. The barge is moored just across from the boat ramp at Columbia Bottoms. Join us for our final big clean-up this Saturday and help us fill the trash barge and finish this unique event as part of Missouri River Relief's 10th anniversary project. We'll be posting final results and the full trash tally soon! Thanks for jumping on board and being a part of this wonderful adventure! See you on the River~