Volunteers to tackle Boone River cleanup

‘A clean river is vital to our communities’

— File photo
Volunteers pick up garbage and debris in a section of the Boone River during a previous cleanup effort. This year, Project AWARE will lead an effort July 7 through 12 with more than 300 volunteers cleaning, exploring and learning about 64 miles of the Boone River between Goldfield and Stratford

BOONE RIVER – It’s not every day hundreds of strangers converge on a river to pick up trash. That, however, is exactly what will happen July 7 to 12, when more than 300 volunteers will spend their vacations cleaning up, learning about, and exploring 64 miles of the Boone River between Goldfield and Stratford in Wright, Hamilton, and Webster counties.

“A clean river is vital to our communities. From the paddlers and anglers that visit our county to the residents that take pride in our river. We strongly support Project AWARE and all of its work to keep Iowa’s rivers clean,” says Brian Lammers, Hamilton County Conservation Executive Director.

Iowa Project AWARE, which stands for A Watershed Awareness River Expedition, is the state’s largest volunteer river cleanup event. In addition to muscling trash out of the river, participants learn about watersheds, geology, archaeology, recycling and other natural resource topics. This year’s expedition not only showcases the Boone River, but it also offers opportunities for residents and visitors alike to connect with the river and enrich their sense of place.

Volunteers can officially join the event by paddling the river, but there are opportunities for others to experience Project AWARE as well. “Infotainment” programs, for example, are held each evening and are open to the public. These programs will highlight local natural resources, history, and archaeology that make this area unique.

“Over the years, the City of Webster City has been active in promoting/enhancing outdoor recreation activities and in improving the environmental quality of the Boone River Valley. The Boone River is the State of Iowa’s first Protected Water Area and one of the first designated Water Trails. Project AWARE’s goals and mission fit in perfectly with what the City of Webster City values,” says Brian Stroner, Webster City’s Environmental/GIS Coordinator.

Registration is not required for the general public to attend evening programs, but it is required for those who wish to volunteer for the river cleanup itself. To avoid a late registration fee, volunteers are asked to have their registration forms postmarked by Friday, June 15. Tent camping is included with registration and a limited number of canoes are available.

For more information on this event and to download the registration materials, please visit www.iowaprojectaware.org.