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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Combined Downtown Boardman River Cleanup With The Homeless

Norm R Fred  | Published on 9/27/2014
September 27, 2014
Combined Downtown Boardman River Cleanup
Goodwill Street Outreach Clients and Mentors
Safe Harbor Volunteers
Boardman River Clean Sweep Volunteers
US Coast Guard Volunteers
Traverse Area Paddle Club Volunteers
Bethlehem Lutheran Church Youth Group Volunteer

Supporting Groups And Agencies:
The National Cherry Festival - Funding and Support
City of Traverse City - Guidance and Support
Downtown Development Authority - Guidance and Support
Downtown Parking Administration - Event Parking Privileges
Parks and Recreation Dept. - Access to Hannah-Lay Park and Trash Disposal
Traverse City History Center - Access To Sanitary Facilities
Bethlehem Lutheran Church - Picnic, Food and Supplies

This was a simply wonderful project to do.
There were 17 people at the beginning and 19 at the end of the project.
I won't say it was an easy project, but it was one that many people had to cooperate
on to make it happen and everyone did as we had hoped and everyone said
"YES" to us everywhere along the line. The cooperation we received was just great.
It all began when the National Cherry Festival made a donation to the BRCS.
There were no strings attached to the donation but we decided to use the
funding as a way to help clean up the downtown section of the river.
What we had been doing in the past was not working at all and the downtown
section remained full of trash even after we had cleaned it 19 times in 11 years.
We made some contacts with the homeless community and finally got in touch
with the Goodwill Street Outreach who thought a river cleanup which included
their clients was a great idea.
Then I just sat back an waited for them for make it happen and THEY DID!
All I did was get some doors opened, do some planning about logistics, get
the equipment that they needed and some on-the-river volunteers
and we were ready to go.
The BRCS and our "on the river" volunteers were there to support the
efforts of the Goodwill crews who were walking both sides of the river.
One of their groups started at the downstream end and one at the upstream
end.  They met in the middle around Union St. and the Parkway.
A driver was on call by BRCS radios to pick up full bags from each crew
and pass out more bags.  The trash was then taken to the boat ramp.
At the end we had 15 bags full of trash - more than we had ever found before.
Afterwards, we had a nice picnic at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church thanks to
Jacquie Rossfeld. The food was provided by the BRCS and the church.
The Goodwill Street Outreach has decided to continue to this project on
their own and we will use the remaining National Cherry Festival funding for
supplies and equipment to help them to continue this project.
Our thanks go out to all the volunteers who spent their Saturday morning working
to make the Boardman River a show place for the Traverse City community. 
To all the City governmental departments that helped us pull this off 
THANK YOU.   Your cooperation was wonderful.
To all our volunteers that worked so hard to complete this project successfully -
  You are all very special people and deserve the very best in life.
To the National Cherry Festival who funded this project, we want to say
THANK YOU for helping the BRCS do something we could only dream of doing.
This has been something that we have talked about but thought was impossible.
Your encouragement and funding was invaluable to getting this done.
To the Goodwill Street Outreach administrators and volunteers - you really know
your clients and how to treat them like real people and assets to the community.
You all did a fantastic job.
And to Jacquie Rossfeld and the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, your gracious
hospitality will be remembered by all of us.  Thank You, Jacquie!
Ryan Hannon, Goodwill Street Outreach Coordinator, wrote a report
of this event as well.  You may find it here:
Until next season, have a great Fall and Winter and we will be back in the Spring.
Norm Fred