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Longest running Adopt-a-River Group

group standing on rivers edge with pile of trash

For more than 100 years, Boy Scouts of America has helped build future leaders by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. BSA Troop 188 in Pine City, MN is embodying this tradition partly through their long-time involvement in Adopt-a-River. They were one of the first groups to join the program and have become our longest running ‘adopter’ to date.

Twice a year the troop, twelve boys ages 12-18, hosts a cleanup along 6 miles of the Snake River. If weather permits, they also cleanup along the frozen ice after fishing season wraps up. Over the years, they have come across some interesting trash including; a steel barrel, couch, car batteries, carpet rolls, a toilet, discarded bikes and a kitchen stove!

“It really feels like we are making a difference,” said troop organizer James Zaun. “We used to come back from a cleanup with a whole pick-up load. That’s not happening anymore.” The motivation behind joining Adopt-a-River was to keep their waters clean and presentable to the public. It is encouraging to see that their consistent efforts have paid off.

The boys also enjoy the chance to get out on the water in their canoes. “It’s not just work for them. They get to play and have fun on our river while making a difference,” said James. Since 1990, the group has cleaned up over 11,000 pounds of trash with 641 volunteers. Although the members of the group have changed over the years, the tradition and impact remains the same.

Thank you to BSA Troop 188 for your clean-water stewardship!