The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

July 9, 2012

Volunteers clean up river during Stream Stomp

CLINTON — Despite the heat, 60 volunteers gathered Saturday along the riverfront to clean one of the city’s greatest assets, the Mississippi River.

Stream Stomp, the event that brings volunteers and organizations together to better the river inside and out, celebrated its third annual event.

“We have such a great water way here,” Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency Director Brad Seward said. “It’s so sad to see trash in it.”

After the group listened to a safety talk led by Seward, they split up to three main work areas — going out on boats with Living Lands and Waters, the bike path, and from the south bridge on the bike path walking toward the floodgate. The event draws in volunteers who return year after year.

“We only have about 10 to 15 new people this year, the rest show up every year,” Seward said. “We’ve had a real good turnout. With the water levels so high, you never know what to expect.”

The Dolmage family helps at the event every year as part of the Community Reformed Church group. The church has worked with Living Lands and Waters, a river clean-up organization that helps with the event each year, for its Vacation Bible School as well, according to Al Dolmage.

“We’ve been involved with Living Lands and Waters a lot,” Dolmage said. “At the end of vacation Bible school, we had a water ballon fight and cleaned up the whole park afterwards.”

For the Chancy Lutheran youth group, this is a new event, but a return is very likely. The group is always looking for ways to get involved with different service projects each month.

“It’s a great project to be a part of,” Sandy Mussman, of Chancy Lutheran, said. “We’re happy to help out in anyway we can.”

Stream Stomp started in 2010 and continues at five sites across the county including areas in or near Clinton, DeWitt and Calamus. All sites make sure to recycle as much as possible from the refuse removed from the waterways.

The committee for the event includes the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency, Clinton County Conservation Board and volunteers from various businesses, groups and organizations including DM Services, Custom-Pak, Lower Wapsipinicon River Cleanup Project, and Behr Metal Recycling. It is hoped that the event will continue to expand to more waterway areas as the volunteer base and interest grows, according to Seward.

“We’re glad we have such a great group of people concerned about our environment,” Seward said.

This event is part of a collaboration with the Great Mississippi River Cleanup that includes clean-up projects in many different areas along the Mississippi.

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