River clean up yields odd bits of treasure amid tons of trash
DAYTON — A shopping cart, a lawnmower, a broken small parts cabinet, a bicycle, a half eaten jar of pickle, a despised orange traffic cone, a tire sidewall. Countless plastic bottles and paper wrappers.
Such were the fruits of labor gathered by 900 volunteers along the Great Miami River for Clean Sweep 2010 Friday July 16, the annual event that ensures river corridors are wildlife-rich, scenic and healthy places.
Dragonflies and butterflies hovered and danced in the heat as volunteers arrived from local schools, the Dayton Department of Recreation’s camping program, area correctional facilities and corporate sponsors including Cox Media Group, parent company of the Dayton Daily News.
Alex Taylor, Cox Media Group vice president, told 100 volunteers at MacIntosh Park that “this river is the crown jewel of Dayton. It’s the reason Dayton was founded here. It’s our greatest natural resource.” Andrew Fahlund, vice president for conservation for the nonprofit group American Rivers, called on volunteers to be “lifelong stewards of the Great Miami River.”
Reshawn Mize, 13, of Trotwood, a bass fisherman, came out to “help the community and the animals - the ducks and swans,” he said. He brought his visiting cousin from Florida, Jordan McConnell, 13, and brother Cercharles McConnell, 14, also of Trotwood.
Felicia Graham, environmental compliance coordinator for the city, said it would be nice if more remembered to police their trash. Litter thrown in the street washes into the river through storm drains. You can report a litterer and the person’s license plate number to a Montgomery County Hotline at 225-4999, Graham said.
By July 24 when volunteers in Logan County finish their efforts, 150 miles of the Great Miami River corridor from Indian Lake to the Ohio River will have been cleaned.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7407 or sbennish@DaytonDailyNews.com.