From Dan Ceynar, Iowa River Friends Board Member:
Great weather, 73 great people, 20 canoes, and a river to clean. For many, this is the recipe for an awesome day on the river. The 3rd Annual Iowa River Clean-up (IARVCP) happened on September 14, 2013, and as in the past 2 years, was made a tremendous success by great sponsors and volunteers.
The day started with check-in at Hill’s Access with donuts and snacks provided by Fin & Feather to those who braved the early Autumn chill to participate. After check-in, anxious paddlers boarded a bus provided by Durham School Services to be shuttled to the Sturgis Ferry boat ramp for outfitting and the mandatory safety talk. Most were attentive, but I suspect it was sort of like a 7:30am college math class in competition with a beckoning river just over my shoulder!
With the safety talk and float plan fresh in mind, soon to be trash plucking paddlers from various backgrounds, professions, and countries set off to “make a difference” departing promptly at 8:00am in 20 boats. River schedules are usually very tentative, but on this day, everything went as planned with both land and canoe based volunteers being where they needed to be, when then needed to be with all, but 2 boats off the water by 3:30. I was 20 minutes tardy, but I was sweep and somebody has to pick up the missed tires, right? Wasn’t really my fault…. 🙂 As happy, but weary paddlers came off the water and enjoyed sandwiches provided by Hy-Vee, the Hills Volunteer Fire Department gave the canoes a much needed and deserved bath in preparation for return to liveries at Johnson County Conservation, Clinton County Conservation, and the University of Iowa Touch the Earth Rec. program.
The river was very low, but still surprisingly easy to navigate, at least by canoe. This year there were an unprecedented 3 mid-points for the 9.5 mile float assuring nobody had to go too far with large loads. And large loads there were, 1.38 tons of metal, 2.53 tons of trash and 200 tires for a total of 6.38 tons. This brings the IARVCP three year running total to an awesome 31.98 tons (63960lbs) and over 641 tires. The good news is that the trash haul on this stretch have been dropping and this stretch of river is finally starting to look the part of being an “Iowa DNR Designated Water Trail”.
Beyond the actual trash removal, making people aware of this precious resource is a also a IARVCP goal and to that end there was lots of Press on hand with representatives from the Iowa City Press Citizen, Cedar Rapids Gazette, and KCRG TV9.
Check out the following links:
A huge thank you to IARVCP Co-Coordinators Lynette Seigley and Carol Sweeting who make up an awesome team and are critical to the success of this event. Please check out the IARVCP website and Sponsor page to thank those who made this event possible. <http://www.iarvcp.org/>
See you on IARVCP 2014!
Photos courtesy of Dave Ratliff.