Friends of Pool 9 making plans for Mississippi River Pool 9 Clean-Up April 24

FOP9 River Clean-Up scheduled for April 24 ... Debris surrounds and overflows a dumpster located at Black Hawk Park, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during a previous Friends of Pool 9 river clean-up. After a two-year absence due to river conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic, the clean-up event is slated to return this year, scheduled for Saturday, April 24. Submitted photo.

At their March board meeting, the Friends of Pool 9 (FOP9) Directors voted to organize a Pool 9 Mississippi River clean-up for this year, and scheduled it for Saturday, April 24.

There will be no mass meetings of individuals at the Lansing VFW building or elsewhere, as in year’s past, and there will not be a lunch following the clean-up. All volunteers are required to sign the 2021 Friends of Pool 9 Release of Liability form before participating in the event.

“While the need exists to clean our beloved Mississippi River Pool 9, we need to remember the present COVID virus restrictions and limit the scope of the event,” FOP9 leaders shared.

Representatives of FOP9 will be available at most launch sites in Pool 9, including along the shoreline outside the Lansing VFW building, at the Big Slough and Winneshiek Landings on Highway 82, Ferryville Landing, Lynxville Landing, De Soto Landing, Black Hawk Park Landing, New Albin Army Road Landing, and Heytman’s Landing on Harpers Ferry Slough.

Volunteers will be provided with gloves, garbage bags and water. The event is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 12 Noon Saturday, April 24. Trash dumpsters will be located at the Lansing Brennan Landing (old Fish Market site), Ferryville City Landing and Black Hawk Park. Debris may be deposited at any of the other landings in Pool 9 and will be loaded and transported to one of the above-mentioned dumpsters. Volunteers with pick-ups or other trucks will be needed to transport debris.

A group of younger adults will be cleaning the Highway 82 dike under the coordination of Lisa Welsh and Jerry Boardman, with all debris transported to the Lansing dumpster. Special assignments will be made to smaller family groups wanting to assist the clean-up effort by cleaning selected channel beach areas and fire rings, or by cleaning any of the following: Lansing Marina dike, Village Creek Landing, Power Plant State Conservation Park, Army Road access road from New Albin to the Minnesota Slough Landing, Visigers Landing, Cold Springs Landing, Victory Landing, Bad Axe Landing and Genoa Power Plant Landing.

Release of Liability forms will be available at the river shoreline outside the VFW building in Lansing and from individuals at each collecting site, as noted below. All volunteers must sign the form and those under 18 years of age must have a parent’s signature as well.

Families and schools are encouraged to take part in this event and use it as a “teaching moment” for children to become better stewards of the natural resource and learn the value of volunteerism. To date, Friends of Pool 9 volunteers have collected and removed more than 151,000 pounds (75 tons) of debris from the river and recorded 8,755 hours of volunteer time to keep Pool 9 clean.

The annual clean-up event has been missed each of the last two years (2019 due to river levels and 2020 due to COVID-19), so multiple years of debris has accumulated that needs to be removed. “This is a huge endeavor and needs the cooperation of many volunteers to make it a success,” FOP9 leaders shared.

For more information go to the FOP9 website at or contact any of the following FOP9 Board members:

• Jerry Boardman (608-648-3588) or Mandi Boardman (608-317-2751) for volunteers from De Soto to clean the Highway 82 dike and area landings
• Lisa Welsh (563-568-7302) for young adults along the Highway 82 dike and Big Slough landing
• Bruce ReVoir (563-568-7358) will meet volunteers at the Lansing VFW waterfront, along with Bob Henkel (563-538-4864) and Alex Galema (563-538-4385), to clean the area backwaters
• Mike Conway (563-568-8132) for volunteers at the Lansing VFW waterfront
• Larry Quamme (608-734-9077) or John Mitchell (608-317-8004) will meet volunteers at the Ferryville landing
• Mark Schneden (608-412-0483) for the Lynxville landing
• Kevin Quillin (563-568-9334) or Blake Schoh (563-419-7546) for cleaning area beaches and fire rings
• John Verdon (608-317-3777) or Darus Spingler (608-632-3736) for boats launching at Black Hawk Park
• Sue English (563-382-9561) will help organize cleaning the Lansing Marina dike, Conservation Parks or other landings
• Joe Mazanec (608-769-4833) or Darrin Thran (608-606-6049) will be in charge of debris transport from sites
• Al Wuennecke (563-544-4236) will organize volunteers for the New Albin area, Visigers and Army Road landing
• Sam Miller (319-269-6805) or Pat Murphy (319-233-1235) at Heytman’s landing.

Volunteers should contact one of these coordinators to sign the required FOP9 Release of Liability Form and pick up their items for cleaning the area. “On behalf of Friends of Pool 9, we thank you for volunteering and helping us clean Pool 9,” FOP9 leaders finalized.

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