FAYETTE, Iowa (September 18, 2009) – A popular stretch of the Turkey River from Clermont to Elgin was the target of a volunteer cleanup effort on Saturday, Sept. 12.
According to project leader, Upper Iowa University Assistant Professor of Geosciences Kata McCarville, over a half ton of junk and trash was removed from the river. Items included glass and plastic that were recycled, as well as more than 500 deposit beverage containers. She said a fishing pole and lantern were also found along the Turkey River and can be claimed by contacting her to identify them.
“Our cleanup efforts during 2009 have involved more than 200 hours of volunteer service, collecting more than 40 tires and removing over three tons of junk from our waterways in Fayette County,” said McCarville. “From a small beginning that started with a single cleanup on the Volga, we’re moving toward a more sustained, county-wide effort.”
McCarville recalls removing a junked car this spring from the bank of the Volga River near the Fayette. She said Mayor Bill Dohrmann noticed it and suggested it be removed, so with the assistance of Upper Iowa personnel Mike Estrem and Jesse Pleggenkuhle and Birdnow Auto Salvage employees Lloyd Carnicle and Eli Phillips the car was extracted from the river and hauled away to be recycled as scrap metal. McCarville added that the salvage title work was provided by Chief Dunn of the Fayette Police Department.
Upper Iowa University cleanup volunteers for Sept. 12 included students Randall Halbur, Guthrie Center; Matt Johnston, Salem, Oregon; Chris Purches, Chicago, Illinois; and Rachel Sorenson, Ossian. Community volunteers were Randy, Rod and Ron Brodigan, Dysart; Dick Howard, Van Meter; and Nick Gaeta, Cedar Rapids.
Disposal fees for trash are paid through a Community Leaders Enhancing Area Rivers (CLEAR) grant and funded by Iowa’s Resource Enhancement and Protection Act-Conservation Education Program (REAP-CEP), which supports river cleanup efforts in Fayette County.
McCarville says support from local individuals, businesses, and groups is always welcome, including in-kind donations of food and beverages which cannot be purchased with grant funds.
Water quality in many of the springs and waterways of Fayette County could be improved through continued cleanup efforts. If you would like to suggest a future cleanup location, public or private, or have questions regarding the cleanup efforts, please contact McCarville at 563-425-5233 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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