A busy river clean-up season concluded for MUCC’s On the Water (OTW) program this past Saturday, August 7. A group of 25 volunteers joined MUCC, Metro-West Steelheaders and the Clinton River Watershed Council at the annual Clinton River Clean-Up event at Yates Park in Rochester Hills.
Although the threat of rain loomed over the event, we were greeted with sunshine and beautiful weather. Families, friends and individuals all came out to support the clean-up efforts of their local watershed, and it was inspiring to see such a diverse mix of ages and interests join us in our conservation efforts. Following introductions from each organization and bagels and muffins provided by Metro-West Steelheaders, volunteers dispersed to begin cleaning up the Clinton River.
More than 450 lbs. of trash was removed from within and around the Clinton River by our volunteers Saturday morning. Volunteers followed the river throughout Yates Park, covering popular walking trails, the river bank and within the river itself. Items like traffic cones, tires, plastic containers, shelving units and countless other forms of trash were pulled from the river and its banks.
One volunteer following the river farther south discovered a beaver dam that was collecting vast amounts of trash. Styrofoam containers, plastic water bottles, alcohol bottles and cans, paint cans and shoes were all removed from the pile-up along the beaver dam. After filling six trash bags full of the debris he could reach, the volunteer moved on to another stretch of the river to continue his efforts. Other volunteers had similar experiences and encountered small dump-sites containing tires, household materials and other waste.
Volunteers met back at the park entrance around 11:30 a.m., and following lunch provided by MUCC the volunteer event concluded. All attendees were given swag bags that included OTW coffee mugs, Michigan Out-of-Doors magazines, Tracks magazines, koozies and other educational materials about the organizations present.
We appreciate the hard work of the volunteers that joined us last Saturday. Their efforts play a critical role in improving water quality for fish, wildlife and recreationists who utilize the river. We look forward to returning for another clean-up event at the Clinton River in 2022 with our partners.
To learn more about MUCC’s award-winning volunteer wildlife habitat improvement program or to register to volunteer at an event near you, please visit mucc.org/on-the-ground.