Thanks to your volunteer effort, the spring Namekagon River cleanup on April 28th was a great success. It was a great way to celebrate National Park Week with our friends at the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. While it was a bit disappointing to see the amount of litter that we picked up from the river and shoreline, it was very encouraging to see how the community pitched in to help keep the Namekagon River pristine.
Volunteers gathered at the Hayward Landing for a safety briefing, a quick snack, and work assignments. They were split into four crews, with a drift boat (aka garbage barge) and guide leading each group. Thank you Hayward Fly Fishing Company for your support. National Park Service staff joined in with the cleanup effort as they are also passionate about the river and enjoy its pristine condition.
It was a nice spring day, but the water was a bit chilly. One of the crews covered the reach between Earl Landing and Trego Landing. This took about six hours, including a short break for lunch. As green-out was just occurring, litter (mostly beer and soft drink cans and bottles) along the banks could be more easily spotted. Often, the volunteers had to get out of the canoes to walk the banks to retrieve the litter (thank goodness for chest-waders). At the end of the day, most were tired, but contented that the litter was now in bags awaiting disposal rather than being in and along our national treature. The following images show litter picked up by the other crews.
33 volunteers joined in this cleanup effort along 30 miles of riverway. The total “haul” was two full-size pickup truck loads.