Rock River Sweep: Rockford’s back yard ‘sickening’
By Tom Lindblade
Illinois Paddling Council President and South Rockford Rock River Sweep Coordinator
Less than 1 mile south of Rockford’s beautiful new $7.5 million riverwalk, which the Rockford Register Star recently called “Rockford’s new front door,” and just the other side of Fordham Dam is a 4-mile stretch of the Rock River that could be called “Rockford’s back door.” This “back door” was described as follows by one of the participants in Saturday’s river cleanup (called the Rock River Sweep), “It is sickening! How can the community allow so much junk to be dumped into a 4-mile section of the river? We could have had 100 canoes on the river today and not gotten all the junk out. Until the community takes ownership and changes their view of the river, no amount of annual cleanup efforts will be successful.”
Rockford has seriously neglected its Rock River back door for way too long. It is not too far from being an open dump. People seem to think nothing of throwing almost any kind of trash in the river. We pulled out 24 tires, 40 bags of trash, and numerous other items in four hours! This is clearly a case of out of sight, out of mind. We should not have an open trash dump running through Rockford. The city should periodically send a crew and cleanup barge, and at least clean the river from below the Fordham Dam through the airport. Thanks to the kids from the Montessori School for all their fine help!
From the Sept. 12-18, 2012, issue
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