Thursday, August 14, 2008

garbage grab? SWEET!

Annual Des Moines River Cleanup
saturday, august 16th
Volunteer clean-up reconnects community with the Des Moines River
(Des Moines)— Community groups and private citizens will join others in a united front to clean up the entire stretch of the Des Moines River as it runs through the Metro area as part of the 7th Annual River Run Garbage Grab Saturday, August 16.
"This year— especially given the recent flooding we've had— we are trying to get the community reconnected with their river. Our river is our lifeblood," said Robin Fortney, a co-organizer of the event. "This year's effort will focus on the stretch of the Des Moines River from Saylorville to Yellow Banks Park."
The event, which begins at 9 a.m., is a non-partisan effort to bring volunteers together for a day to clean up the riverside—cyclists, walkers and water enthusiasts are all welcome. This is an all-ages event free and open to everyone. The event is expected to draw hundreds of volunteers. Last year, 200 volunteers removed 24 tons of trash and debris from a 10-mile stretch of the Des Moines River.
Volunteers will be given wristbands and are invited to a celebration at the Simon Estes Amphitheater beginning at 6 p.m. Live music will be provided by the Des Moines Community Steel Drum Band, Plymouth Church Chancel Choir, and John Stravers with his eco-folk rock band "Big Blue Sky".
Wells Fargo Financial, Metro Waste Authority, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Polk County Conservation, City of Des Moines Parks & Recreation, City of Pleasant Hill Parks & Recreation, Central Iowa Paddlers, Iowa Whitewater Coalition, Izaak Walton League-Des Moines Chapter, Sierra Club-Des Moines Chapter, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Des Moines Rowing Club, Principal Financial Group,
Iowa Outdoor Unlimited, and MidAmerican Energy.

Frequently Asked Questions:
Q.: What will happen if it rains?
A.: This event will be held rain or shine. We recommend that you bring a rain jacket and hat in case it does rain.
In the event of a thunder storm, you will need to seek shelter. If you are on the river during a thunder storm, you will need to get off the river and seek shelter.

Q.: I've never participated in a river cleanup before. Do I need to have any experience?
A.: No experience is necessary, just a willingness and desire to help improve your community's rivers. Cleanup organizers will provide volunteers with information on safety and protocol on the day of the cleanup. Each volunteer is responsible for his or her own safety and should act within their own personal physical abilities and exercise due caution when participating in river cleanups.

Q.: What should I wear and bring to the cleanup?
A.: River cleanups can be messy and require hard work. Wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty or even tattered. Work boots and work gloves are strongly recommended and, if you are going to be working in the water, dress appropriately. Long sleeve shirts and long pants are recommended despite the weather, for the protection they provide against the sun, poisonous or thorny plants and biting insects. Wearing a hat and eye protection is also recommended. You are likely to experience poison ivy, mosquitoes, sun and/or rain, so you are advised to bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent, hat and rain jacket. It's important to keep hydrated. Bring plenty of water and a snack to keep your energy up.
If you plan to volunteer on the river, we recommend you bring a sack lunch and plenty of drinking water.

Q.: Can children participate?
A.: Yes. Absolutely. River cleanups are a fun learning experience for kids. Just make sure they understand the importance of putting safety first. The safety of river cleanup participants under the age of 18 is the responsibility of parents or legal guardians.
Q.: How much time will it take?
A.: The event starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 16, 2008.
If you are volunteering on the river, your time commitment will be approximately:
•Cottonwood to Sycamore Access: 1-2 hours
•Sycamore Access to Prospect Park: 6-7 hours
•Prospect Park to Birdland Access: 1-2 hours
•Harriet Street Access to Pleasant Hill Access: 6-7 hours
•Pleasant Hill Access to Yellow Banks County Park: 2-4 hours
Note: If you are volunteering on a land trail, you may work an hour or two or more.

Q.: What can I expect?
A.: First you need to sign in. A host at each starting point will give you a wrist band and this will be your ticket to dinner on Saturday evening. Then you'll be given trash bags and a pair of gloves. If you are volunteering on the land, you can bring full trash bags back to the start or leave them beside the trail or road and the organizing crew will collect them later. If you are volunteering on the river, you will bring trash to the nearest boat ramp. Support crew in power boats will be available to accept trash from your canoe so you can continue collecting trash. Some items, such as tires, drums and appliances, may be encountered and you should use care when retrieving and moving them. It may be helpful to bring a shovel to help retrieve tires and larger items from the sand and gravel. Host personnel will segregate the trash (tires, appliances, metal, bottles, etc.) so we can recycle as much possible.

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