‘It’s Our River Day’: Illinois river cleanups Sept. 15

• River cleanups are a great way to give back

By Tom Eckels
Illinois Paddling Council

Here are a few river cleanups Sept. 15.

The Des Plaines River

Help clean up the Des Plaines River and enjoy a morning in your local forest preserves. The Des Plaines River flows through a number of forest preserves and provides a peaceful, wildlife-rich experience. Learn more about how to enjoy and restore the Des Plaines River and other water trails in northeastern Illinois.

On Water Cleanup at 8:30 a.m.: Contact Tom Eckels eckelst@comcast.net for details.

Meet at Rivershire Park in Lincolnshire at 8:30 a.m. for a 9 a.m. car shift to Allison Woods. We will paddle from Rivershire Park to Ryerson Woods; cleanup starts at Ryerson Woods, and continues to Dam No.1; We will leave trash at Dam No. 1 and either clean up or paddle to Allison Woods as time permits.

On Land Cleanup: Choose from two different locations starting at 9:30 a.m.: contact Nancy Schumm, coordinator for Upper Des Plaines River Ecosystem Partnership: Coordinator@upperdesplainesriver.org to RSVP or get more information. Advanced registration is requested.

Allison Woods, Forest Preserve District of Cook County

Activities: Litter cleanup (all ages), Project Squirrel wildlife monitoring (families), and invasive brush removal (adults only). Please indicate activity preference when registering.

Location: West side of Milwaukee Avenue, between Lake Avenue and Palatine Road, Northbrook coordinates: 42 deg 06’ 03.24” North and 87 deg 53’ 01.49” West.

Ryerson Woods, Forest Preserve District of Lake County

Activity: Litter cleanup

Location: 21950 N. Riverwoods Road, Deerfield coordinates: 42 deg 10’ 55.95” North and 87 deg 54’ 23.80” West.

This event is supported by a grant from REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) to Openlands to assist Illinois Water TrailKeepers, and by a grant from Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to the Upper Des Plaines Ecosystem Partnership.

Fox River — Sept. 15

The program starts at 1 p.m. with speakers/events/demos. Last year, someone from PCP gave a talk and demo. The cleanup starts at 2 p.m. They have always done a park cleanup but have never had anyone clean from the river. If interested in helping with the first river cleanup from the Algonquin Dam to the Carpentersville Dam, contact Jodie Auliff at (630) 220-0934 or Ben Auliff at (630) 220-0937 or Benjodieauliff@yahoo.com.

General description of paddle route: Starts off very residential but does become more scenic with various parks along the way. Terrain varies from wooded to open prairie. Many types of birds can be spotted (turkey vultures, hawks, cranes, herons, cormorants, ducks, etc.). The Fox River bike trail is along part of the route on the river’s left bank.

Additional opportunities for Waterway Cleanups on Sept. 15, It’s Our River Day

There are a number of other cleanups that are being put on by various other organizations. Here are a few that we are aware of that have recently been discussed on paddling e-mail lists.

Willow Creek

The Izaak Walton League is putting on a cleanup of Willow Creek. This is a walking cleanup as there will not be enough water to paddle. Contact is cleanwillowcreek@sbcglobal.net.

Vermilion River

A cleanup on the Vermilion River. For information, point your web browser to www.livingstoncountyenvironmental.org/river-cleanup-2012.

Ft. Sheridan

The Lake County Forest Preserve District is planning a cleanup on Lake Michigan at their Ft. Sheridan site. To find out more information, point your browser to www.lcfpd.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.details&intObjectId=34282 or contact Lake County Forest Preserves Environmental Educator Jennifer Sazama, jsazama@lcfpd.org, Anne Flanigan Bassi countyafb@comcast.net, or Jonathan Schlesinger at jschles2@gmail.com.

New on the Illinois Paddling Council website is “Cleanup Corner.” We will be happy to list cleanups in Illinois and trip reports from cleanups in Illinois on the website. Key events and trip reports will also make it into the IPC e-mail newsletter, “The Illinois Paddler.” Visit http://www.illinoispaddling.org/trailkeepers/cleanup-corner.

From the Sept. 12-18, 2012, issue

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