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Mississippi cleaned up after heavy rains


At left, Tony Ambrose, who has volunteered at the cleanup for five years as a U.S. Bank employee, picked up trash. At right, David Steffen (yellow helmet) and Jace Crowe     hauled a truck dashboard out of a wooded area.

At left, Tony Ambrose, who has volunteered at the cleanup for five years as a U.S. Bank employee, picked up trash. At right, David Steffen (yellow helmet) and Jace Crowe hauled a truck dashboard out of a wooded area.

Record-breaking June rains almost derailed the 23rd Mississippi Riverboat Cleanup, which was postponed from June until mid-July after the 6th highest flood level of all time in Saint Paul. But almost 100 volunteers, staff and corps members turned out on a beautiful summer morning to clean up several sites along the Mississippi River near Red Rock Road, just north of the Waucouta bridge. Part of the area had not been cleaned in a number of years. Working together, volunteers removed 4,800 pounds of trash, including a car dashboard and bag after bag of plastic bottles, plus many tires, some of which had earlier been gathered by volunteers in the same area. Paul Nordell, DNR Adopt-a-River program coordinator said, “By cleaning up this site, we are continuing a heritage of appreciation for the river’s natural resources. When volunteers combined efforts with our partners, such as Conservation Corps, major cleanup progress was possible along the river’s flood zone.”

For the first time this year, volunteers were able to separate the trash for recycling, which amounted to 440 pounds removed from the dumpster in addition to the retrieval of 2,800 pounds of tires and rims. Hear Nordell talk about the cleanup in an interview with KSTP. And visit the DNR at the Minnesota State Fair, to see a sculpture created by artist Tristan Kyrsta from trash collected at various cleanups through the DNR Adopt-a-River program, now celebrating 25 years of service to the community.