Pine River Cleanup: August 8th, 2019
After a car ride filled with building anticipation, verdant Michigan landscapes, and detailed kayaking instructions from John and Lois, the seasoned paddlers, we arrived at Dobson Bridge River Access for our Pine River cleanup expedition.
Martin, Elliott, and I quickly unpacked our gear, eager to start our 6 mile journey. We readied our boats, practiced with the grabber sticks and applied our final layers of sunscreen and bug repellant. Finally, we set out. Within seconds, the swift current and erratic log jams proved to require skillful maneuvering, but with some technical lessons from Lois and Kathleen, I quickly found myself paddling with ease. Elliott and Martin had no trouble adjusting to the river and immediately began spotting and collecting trash.
Mark, another seasoned paddler, even managed to paddle his canoe while standing upright, ensuring that he wouldn’t miss any neglected bottles, paddles, or street signs! With a crew of 14, we expected the work to be light, but even after a short time on the river, we discovered that the ecosystem was in great shape.
When we stopped for lunch, no one even needed to offload their collection into Lois’ canoe! Despite the slim pickings, our group managed to find German liquor bottles, bed sheets, unopened beer cans, and even two pairs of boxer shorts! Before we knew it, we found ourselves at the end of the trip.
As we marveled at our loot and dragged our kayaks to the car, I couldn’t help but feel proud of the work our group accomplished. From climbing over logs for a small find to participating on their birthdays (shoutout to Jocelyn), my 13 other crew members demonstrated a level of environmental stewardship and care that made me optimistic about the future and the condition of the beautiful land we get to call home.
Report by Macy Fouch
Photos by John & Jocelyn
The group at the beginning: Bob, Marlene, Sue, Elliott, Martin, Macy, Lois, John,
Kathleen, Jocelyn, Jacqui, Mark, Gail
Mark on the prowl for trash
Martin with an interesting find.
56 selected botanicals cold macerated in essence of oak - 70 proof.
Elliott with cardinal flowers in the foreground
Sue spotted the sheet, and Elliott went into the river to get it.
A tie-dyed sheet courtesy of the Pine River
John and Kathleen team up to clean out a "mother lode" of trash
Kathleen goes deep into a log jam for trash
Macy - the author
Martin claims to sample one of his finds
Lois and Elliott
Some of the wildflowers seen during the day -
Joe-Pye Weed, Woodland Sunflower, Cardinal Flower
Nightshade berries, Bee Balm
Our load of trash