Friends Of Pool 9 schedules annual River Clean-Up

Friends of Pool 9 annual river clean-up scheduled for April 30 ...
Debris fills the Vernon County dumpster at Black Hawk Park during the 2015 Friends of Pool 9 Mississippi River clean-up at the upper end of Pool 9. Submitted photo.

by Sue English

Mother River is ready to start spring cleaning and Friends of Pool 9 (FOP9) will be there to help, but they can’t do it alone.

Since 2004, FOP9 has sponsored a spring river clean-up day within Pool 9 of the Mississippi River. Since that year, over 120,000 pounds of debris have been collected. This wasn’t done by just a few volunteers. Over 7,000 volunteer hours have gone into this project saving approximately $140,000 in work-related costs. Last year alone, a record breaking 20,000 pounds of accumulated garbage was harvested.

Young and old, fathers, mothers, grandparents and kids are urged to join FOP9 Saturday, April 30 in this valuable endeavor.  Both people and boats are needed. Participants gather at the Lansing VFW building (across from the ball diamond) on Front Street in Lansing at 7:30 a.m. for registration, orientation, clean-up assignment and to receive clean up supplies.  Canvas gloves, garbage bags and water are provided.

Boats may also meet in New Albin, Ferryville, Lynxville, Heytman’s Landing and Black Hawk Park. Each person receives a Friends of Pool 9 t-shirt and will be treated to a complimentary lunch at the VFW building after finishing their assigned task (approximately noon).

To volunteer time, energy and/or a boat, call the following contacts:  Waukon - Bruce ReVoir, 563-568-7358; Lansing - Bob Seeley, 563-568-7713; New Albin - Al Wuennecke, 563-544-4929; DeSoto - Jerry Boardman, 563-419-7968; Ferryville - Larry Quamme, 608-734-9077; Lynxville - Mark Schneden, 608-412-4478, Decorah - Sue English, 563-379-1129. In case of inclement weather, notification will be made via area radio or by calling any of the above.

“Each of us, users of  our beautiful Mississippi River, need to preserve this natural resource,” shared Friends of Pool 9 event organizers. “The river has gotten cleaner and people are more informed about its value and their obligation to protect it, but it’s still important that we act as stewards and remain vigil.  Saturday, April 30 is an opportunity to give something back to the Mississippi in return for the recreation and resources it provides. Parents, bring your sons and daughters to pass on the heritage of responsibility to our amazing body of water.”

Friends of Pool 9 of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge is a 700-member volunteer 501 (c) 3 grassroots organization based in Lansing. It’s goal is the preservation of the Mississippi River for the benefit of wildlife and all users of the resource.