The weather wasn't the greatest, but that didn't stop a really hardcore group of volunteers from showing up, waiting out the storm and working in the rain. This clean-up was part of the county-wide Mission: Clean Stream, one of the largest one-day clean-ups in the state organized by Greenway Network and a long list of partners.
We started the day in pouring rain with a thunderstorm. The volunteers that showed up in the rain all agreed they wanted to get to work as soon as the lightning moved on. So that's what we did! As it turned out, all of the other sites of Mission: Clean Stream postponed their clean-ups, but since we had come from all over to pull this off we just bulldogged ahead as soon as it was safe.
It's hard to express what an amazing crew of volunteers this was. First everyone fanned out into the woods and hauled trash out of nearby Blanchette Creek. As soon as we got our boats up and going, we started taking groups to river sites. Most of these sites were nasty dumps near bridges...not really the ideal site to clean, but in this case they were the most important to make sure we hit.
The Lindbergh High School Human Anatomy class (led by river clean-up veteran Jim Denner) was amazing. They took on a series of dumps under the Bridgeton side of highway 370. Gross, for sure, but these kids would not be deterred. The Ameristar casino next door sent an amazing group of volunteers who worked the whole area upstream of the casino. Greg Poleski from Greenway Network took his truck to several public river accesses and loaded up all the trash he could get by himself.
Our allies with Arnold Stream Team 211 came out. I don't know how we do it when they are not there. They worked with our board member Francis Baum, from Boeing Employees for Environmental Protection. They also stuck around for a clean-up on Sunday. We had heard of a few tires to pick up under the railroad bridge downstream. When we got there, though, it turned out there was an old dump with piles and piles of tires. And a bathtub.
As a special treat after our grueling Saturday, Trailhead Brewery, just across the street from the BoatHouse, donated a complete BBQ and chili dinner for the soggy and exhausted crew. That's hometown hospitality!
A nucleus of crew stuck around until Monday, when some REI employees came out for a clean-up. We hit some downstream spots we missed last fall and completely cleaned them up. This is a diehard group of folks we hope to see again. Go visit them at their Brentwood Store!
With the rain and general chaos, we didn't get to keep a trash tally this time. But we were able to sort and recycle a bunch of junk from the Saturday clean-up. We love spending time in St. Charles and, despite the weather, this weekend was no exception!
75 Bags of Trash!
1 Computer Monitor
pieces of a Desk
1 Plush Chair
2 Camp Chairs
several large pieces of Carpet
1 35 gal. Plastic Tub
1 Truck Bench Seat
1 set of blinds
1 plastic Road Barrier
1 Hot Water Heater
2 55-gal. Metal Barrels
7 large Chunks O’ Styrofoam
1 Hockey Stick
2 Soccer Balls
6 Tennis Balls
1 set of national by-laws from the Hell’s Lovers Motorcycle Club
Read more on the River Notes Blog!
St. Charles Community News - "Mission: Clean Stream"
Total Volunteers: 78
Total Trash Tonnage: 5.1 tons
Groups Participating: Missouri River Relief, St. Charles Public Works, Arnold Stream Team 211, Lindbergh High School Human Anatomy, Ameristar, 1 Mississippi, Greenway Network, Boeing Employees for Environmental Protection (BEEP).
Great Rivers Greenway District
Missouri Department of Conservation