“You know you have people committed to cleaning up our rivers and lakes when they come out to pick up litter in a rainstorm.” said Cannon River Watershed Partnership Executive Director Kristi Pursell.

But that’s what happened Saturday, Sept. 21 as 175 volunteers took part in river and lake CleanUPs at eight sites across the region from Owatonna and Shields Lake to Northfield and Cannon Falls, and many communities in between.

The high water on the river kept one group from doing a canoe CleanUP of the river near Welch. But all of the other sites carried on, despite the forecast of thunderstorms. Overall, a few sites got some rain, but no one had thunderstorms.

Groups found a bicycle, a gas grill, a portable DVD player, a truck tire and bags of clothes at their sites. Volunteers collected an estimated 8,500 pounds of litter this year. Many cities, including Northfield and Faribault, donated dumpster space to help volunteers deposit what they’d cleaned up from area parks and river banks. Since its inception in 2009, over 2,450 volunteers have picked up over 156,300 pounds of litter from riverbanks, parks and lakeshores in the region.

To take part in the 2020 CleanUP, mark your calendar for the third Saturday in September. Next year’s CleanUP takes place on Saturday, Sept. 19. To learn more, visit www.crwp.net/cleanup.

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