Flowers are not the only thing that pops up in spring.
Once the snow thaws area rivers, lakes and streams also see an influx of plastic bottles and other trash, which is why the Clinton River Watershed Council’s (CRWC) Weekly Clean program is so important.
This year’s annual program kicked off at 10 am Wednesday and anyone who wishes to help out is asked to meet at Gerald N. Donovan Park in Sterling Heights.
CRWC’s Program Specialist Kaleigh Snoddy said they have a corps of volunteers who show up each week but ideally at least 10 to 20 volunteers are needed.
“We work with any age,” Snoddy said.
Parents and their children, seniors, Girl Scouts and Boys Scouts, high school students, anyone who wishes to come out in support of the cleanup projects are welcome.
Advanced registration is not required, unless a large group would like to participate.
Just show up at 10 am and look for members of the CRWC. Volunteers are provided with gloves, pickers and trash bags and after being shown a general area to cover are left to work at their own pace.
“We’ve had church groups come out and even a family celebrating a birthday,” Snoddy said. “We were super proud to have them.”
Every Wednesday, now through November, volunteers will collect trash from local parks, green spaces and other areas along the Clinton River and Lake St. Claire. Over the past decade, nearly 4,000 individuals have volunteered to help pick more than 97,000 pounds of trash, equivalent to 49 tons — seven adult African elephants or 20 mid-size SUVs of trash — from the Clinton River Watershed during weekly cleans.
“The thousands of volunteers that have participated in the Weekly Clean program have been instrumental in restoring the more than 760 square miles that the Clinton River Watershed encompasses, pulling everything from a refrigerator to old farming equipment from the river,” said Sue Kelsey, interim executive director of the Clinton River Watershed Council. “This year, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Clinton River Watershed Council, we’re also celebrating a decade of outstanding work that has been done through programs such as the Weekly Cleans to improve the watershed for our generation and those to come. ”
For those who cannot make the first clean up there are many more to come. Check out this list of Weekly Clean through May at parks in Macomb and Oakland counties:
• 4/13 – River Woods Park in Auburn Hills
• 4/20 – Macomb Corners Park in Macomb Twp.
• 4/27 – Waterford River Walk, Waterford
• 5/4 – Hawthorne Park, Pontiac
• 5/11 – Joseph Delia’s Park, Sterling Heights
• 5/18 – Brys Park, St. Clair Shores
• 5/25 – Firefighters Park, Troy
CRWC also works with Clinton River Canoe and Kayak to host monthly trash runs from June through August. Volunteers canoe or kayak down the Clinton River collecting trash along the way. Trash runs are intended for individuals 14 years of age and older, and registration is required.
To learn more about the Weekly Clean program, additional volunteer events, free training, education classes and family-friendly activities throughout the year, visit crwc.org/events.