Volunteers needed for daylong effort
Beloved things must be cared for if they are to thrive, and our local waterway is one such entity needing our attention. You love the Methow River? Take some time to help tidy it up on Saturday (Aug. 15) during the “socially distant” community river cleanup.
Says cleanup organizer John Crandall, “Please join with your community to give thanks and praises to our amazing river by spending some time on Aug. 15 cleaning up the river corridor. This could be outside your back door, at your favorite swimming hole, along a special river run, or anywhere you can – legally! – access the river to search for and pick up trash.”
Crandall suggests that river users recreate on the river as usual, but schedule in extra time and bring bags to collect trash en route.
There’s a long precedent for river cleanups, and that’s one of the reasons why the Methow River is so clear, clean and relatively unspoiled. One of the most recent concerted efforts to clean up the river resulted in 20 tons of debris from fires and floods in the Benson Creek area being pulled out of the river. “And we’re still collecting pieces of that house that fell into the river in Mazama more than 10 years ago,” Crandall says.
“A river like this is something most people don’t encounter all that often,” Crandall says. “We’re so fortunate to have a relatively clean, undammed river.” But a lot of trash gets deposited in the river, especially in the summer. Much of it is easy to collect into bags for recycling and trash – aluminum cans, flip flops, bits of inflatable watercraft, lawn chairs – but some of it is big, heavy, or sharp enough that it’s more than your average private river party wants to tackle. For such “big ticket” items, Crandall says, river cleaners should mark the location and inform him so that he can coordinate retrieval.
Pickup trucks will be stationed at the Winthrop Barn, the Twisp Town Park and the Carlton Hole on Saturday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. so river cleaners can deposit the debris they collect; WasteWise is donating collection services.
Led by the Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation and the Methow Restoration Council, the river cleanup is a collaborative effort that also includes the following partner organizations: WasteWise, Methow Recycles, Methow Valley Flyfishers, Methow Rafting, Town of Twisp, KTRT, Methow Conservancy, Washington’s departments of Fish & Wildlife and Ecology, the Methow Valley News, Methow Arts, and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.
Prospective river cleaners can register through Volunteer Methow at http://www.volunteermethow.org. Contact Crandall at (509) 341-4341 for details or with additional ideas.