By Brendan Walsh
United Sportsmen’s Company
The United Sportsmen’s Youth Foundation (USYF) is hosting the Ninth Annual Pecatonica River Cleanup Sunday, July 29, teaching kids by example. Dozens of local conservationists will volunteer to take their canoes/pontoons/Jon boats and even inner tubes down the tranquil Pecatonica River.
For nearly a decade, the Youth Foundation has been teaching kids land stewardship and the values of our river ecosystems.
The USYF volunteers will clean the river from the Wisconsin state line to the confluence of the Pecatonica, where it meets the Rock River in Rockton, about a 100-mile stretch of river. Quite a project!
The Youth Foundation awards trophies for the following:
1. Kids (team of two) who get the most garbage;
2. Boat that gets the most garbage out of the river;
3. Family that gets the most garbage;
4. Most unusual garbage;
5. Single-largest piece of garbage; and
6. Most garbage by team off shoreline.
Students can also get the community service hours for their school project or résumé.
The Youth Foundation annually gets huge truckloads of garbage out of the Pecatonica River. We find interesting garbage such as old tires, dozens of pop cans with pull tabs from the 1970s, barrels full of oil and toxic waste.
Together, we are making a huge difference. Each year, we have to go farther to fill up our boats.
Join USYF from 7 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, July 28, for our Pecatonica River Cleanup Fund-raising Cookout, auction, raffles and live music to be held at Rock Hollow Hunt Club, 1931 Illinois 75, Freeport, Ill. Lots of fun, and camp by the river!
Grab a local kid or friend and lead by example. Kids are the future!
Reserve a canoe for only a $25 donation. Land crews also needed. The Youth Foundation is also hiring several large Jon boats and mud motors for $25 per hour. Please call (815) 599-5690 for more information or to volunteer.
Also, volunteers are needed to help organize the picnic following the river cleanup. You can help by making brownies, fruit salad, etc.
From the July 18-24, 2012, issue