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River to be cleaned up Sept. 7

Published: Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 11:12 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 9:41 a.m. CDT

Local citizens are again planning to remove litter in and along the Rock River as part of the fifth annual Oregon Area Rock River Sweep.

This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 7 from Lowden State Park to Castle Rock State Park. 

The Oregon area clean-up will be held from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Check-in will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the intersection of North Second Street and Franklin Street (Kiwanis Park) behind Conover Square, in Oregon. Cleanup begins at 8 a.m. 

With help from the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department, the Oregon Park District, the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department, and American Rivers, the Oregon Area Rock River Sweep will supply a limited number of gloves, trash bags, bug spray, and T-shirts. 

Water and snacks will be available as well.  

Participants are encouraged to wear long sleeves, long pants, and old shoes, and to bring a reusable water bottle to the event which can be refilled to reduce waste.   

Boaters, river land owners, Scout groups and other service organizations are needed to help pick up trash, as well as sort the waste and recyclables.  

In addition, student organizations can earn community service hours.  

This year, event planners are encouraging more motor boat, canoe, and kayak owners to participate because they have better access to areas of the river which cannot be reached from the shoreline.

“With the flooding that took place earlier this summer on the Rock River, there will be a lot of trash that was left when the water receded. It is important that we remove as much debris as possible,” said Mark Nehrkorn, Section Coordinator for the Oregon area. 

Nehrkorn is calling on as many area boaters as possible to help with that task. 

“The Rock River is such a beautiful asset that makes Ogle County and the Oregon area unique.  We need to do what we can to protect and preserve it.  The Rock River Sweep is a perfect opportunity to bring people together to do just that,” he said.

The Rock River is an approximately 285-mile long tributary of the Mississippi. It flows through Wisconsin and into northern Illinois before joining the Mississippi in Rock Island. 

In addition to keeping the river clean, this event will also help spread awareness of how important a healthy Rock River is to local communities.

Last year, more 40 volunteers participated in the Oregon area Sweep and collected around half a ton of waste which was sorted and recycled or disposed of properly.  

For more information, contact Steve Rypkema, Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department at 815-732-4020 or srypkema@oglecounty.org

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