Friends of Pool 9 tentatively scheduling annual Mississippi River Clean-Up Day for April 22; River levels being monitored

Volunteers needed for Friends of Pool 9 Mississippi River Clean-Up scheduled for April 22 ... Volunteers pictured above take a break after collecting the three-mile-long dike roadsides along Wisconsin Highway 82 across the Mississippi River at Lansing during last year’s Friends of Pool 9 Mississippi River Clean-Up Day, which was held April 23, 2022. Friends of Pool 9 Directors have tentatively scheduled this year’s Clean-Up Day for Saturday, April 22, but they are also keeping an eye on river levels and may have to reschedule the event if the Mississippi River rises to forecasted levels. Volunteers are welcome to participate. Submitted photo.

The Friends of Pool 9 Directors have tentatively scheduled a Pool 9 Mississippi River Clean-Up Day for Saturday, April 22. Because of the possibility of excessive spring flooding, volunteers should stay abreast of water levels on the Mississippi River as the clean-up date approaches.

There will be no mass meetings of individuals at the Lansing VFW building and there will not be a lunch following. Lansing volunteers should gather at the waterfront area below the VFW building next to the river to sign the 2023 Friends of Pool 9 Release of Liability form before participating in the event.
FOP9 Directors Alex Galema, Bob Henkel, Bruce ReVoir and Mike Conway will be available to hand out garbage bags, gloves and water, as well as to assign collection areas. Directors will also be available at most launch sites in Pool 9 including Big Slough Landing (Shelly Galema and Jerry Boardman), Black Hawk Park (Ric Zarwell) and Ferryville (Larry Quamme and John Mitchell).

As in the past, the event runs from 8 a.m. to 12 Noon Saturday, April 22. 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 dumpsters. Volunteers with pick-ups trucks will be needed to transport debris.

A group of younger adults will be cleaning the Highway 82 dike under the coordination of Shelly and Madison Galema and Jerry Boardman, with all debris transported to the Lansing dumpster. Special additional assignments will be made to smaller family groups wanting to assist the clean-up effort by cleaning selected channel beach areas and fire rings by boat. They should come to the VFW shoreline and contact Kevin Quillin and Blake Schoh.

Individuals/groups will also be needed to walk/clean the following shoreline areas and should contact Sue English at 563-379-1129 or Christa Hall: 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. Walkers should go to either the Lansing VFW shoreline, Black Hawk Park Army Corps Landing or Ferryville City Landing to get needed items (gloves, bags, water) and complete the 2023 Release of Liability form. All volunteers must sign the form and those under 18 years of age must have a parent’s signature as well.

If the water level reaches or exceeds 12 feet at the Lansing gauge of the Mississipi River, the FOP9 clean-up event will be rescheduled. Many areas become too dangerous for volunteers in boats and FOP9 will reschedule the clean-up for another time.

To date, Friends of Pool 9 volunteers have collected and removed more than 168,800 pounds (84.4 tons) of debris from the river and recorded 9,900 hours of volunteer time to keep Pool 9 clean. In 2022, 100 volunteers collected 12,160 pounds of trash (excluding recycled metal), an average of almost 122 pounds of debris per person from the Mississippi River.

“As we’ve said in the past, this is a great opportunity a to provide a ‘teaching moment’ for children (and for all) to become better stewards of the natural resource and learn the value of volunteerism,” event organizers shared. “Thanks to all the volunteers that make this effort such a success, it makes us proud to be members of Friends of Pool 9, Upper Mississippi Refuge, Inc.”