LONG GROVE, IA JUNE 28, 2006 - The Grove to Grove Lower Wapsipinicon River Cleanup Project is seeking volunteers ages 10 and up (under 18 must be accompanied by an adult) to participate in a canoe trip to clean up 22 miles of the Wapsi, the majority of it in Clinton County, from Walnut Grove Park in Toronto, Iowa, to Allen's Grove Park north of Donahue, Iowa. The event will take place August 25-27, 2006.
Base camp is at Sherman Park in Clinton County. The Friday night stay is optional. The cleanup will begin early Saturday morning, and end Sunday afternoon. Single-day participation is permitted. Participants will remove pop cans, plastic sacks, tires, barrels and other pieces of trash they find in the river's waters and banks. Participants should dress for the weather, bring work gloves and wear closed-toe shoes. PFDs are required to be worn at all times while on the river. Organizers will provide free camping (including shower facilities), and canoes, paddles and PFDs for those who need them. Catered meals and t-shirts are available for purchase. The Clinton County Conservation Board naturalists will offer some interesting, fun, and free evening environmental education programs about the river and the land around it.
"This is an opportunity for people to experience the unique camaraderie and feelings of accomplishment that accompany a canoeing- and camping-based river cleanup," state coordinators Melisa Petersen and KJ Rebarcak. "We want to bring people together, get them involved, and let them know they can do something to improve the health and beauty of the river."
Sponsors for this event include : Clinton County Conservation Board; Friends of the Wapsi Center, Inc., Dixon, IA; Clinton County Pheasants Forever; Paul's Discount, Clinton, IA; G. Baker Distributing, Clinton, IA; Allied Waste Services, Clinton, IA; Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency; KLJB-TV, Davenport, IA; Wapsi River Environmental Education Center, Dixon, IA; Jewel, Clinton, IA; Bonnie's Scenic Tavern, Clinton, IA; Hill Chiropractic Office, P.C., DeWitt, IA; MidAmerican Energy Company; Kimberly Crest Veterinary Hospital, P.C., Davenport, IA; Target, Clinton, IA; Soaring Eagle Nature Center, Clinton, IA; Mercy Medical Center, Clinton, IA; and Alliant Energy. The project also received funding from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This May, cleanup organizers secured a CLEAR (Community Leaders Enhancing Area Rivers) mini-grant given out by the DNR. Worth up to $1,000 apiece, the grants encourage communities to take responsibility for cleaning their waterways. Organizers of the DNR's annual river cleanup "Project AWARE (A Watershed Awareness River Expedition)" created the CLEAR mini-grants in response to public demand. For details, visit: iowaprojectaware.com.
The Lower Wapsipinicon River Cleanup Project is a grassroots organization with a twofold purpose: To remove trash from the river and dispose of it in an environmentally responsible manner; and to educate the public about the environment and the importance of caring for natural resources.
Registrations should be postmarked by July 17 to take advantage of all the extras offered; however, they will still be accepted after that date. For further information, contact Melisa Petersen at 309-737-9016 or KJ Rebarcak at firstname.lastname@example.org; write to LWRCP, PO Box 333, Long Grove, IA 52756; or visit the website at http://showcase.netins.net/web/kjr/cleanup.html.