Missouri River trash cleanup is Saturday, volunteers needed

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 20th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Volunteers are needed to pull on boots and gloves this weekend to help clean up the banks of the Missouri River after last year’s historic flooding. Jeff Barrow is director of Missouri River Relief and says they’re focusing their efforts Saturday on the Nebraska side of the river, just north of Omaha. They’ll be getting the debris that washed up on the islands and in the woods in last year’s flooding. Barrow says up to 300 volunteers are expected for the event who will help pick up 10 to 15 tons of trash. He recommends bringing bug spray and sunscreen. The trash pick-up runs until noon and lunch will be provided. After lunch, more volunteers are needed to sort and haul that trash away.

The Army Corps of Engineers is providing a barge on which the trash will be dumped, while there will also be separate dumpsters for trash and scrap metal. Volunteers should be on the look-out for unusual items and there’s a contest for the best “trash treasures” found. Barrow says they’ve literally found a message in a bottle before.”We were doing a clean-up way down near the Mississippi River on the Missouri River and someone in Council Bluffs had put a message in a bottle and it’d been in the river ten years,” he says. “We found it. It was really amazing. We tried to call the person back but the phone number was no longer active.”

Volunteers should be at N-P Dodge Park north of Omaha at 9 AM Saturday. Barrow says in ten years, more than 16,500 volunteers have collected and hauled away more than one-million pounds of trash from 784 miles of river.

(Radio Iowa)