Volunteers met at the Tuscola Township Hall pavilion where McDonald’s of Frankenmuth and the Bavarian Inn Restaurant teamed to feed volunteers breakfast. The volunteers were then divided into 6 teams each covering about one mile from Vassar to the Tuscola Canoe Launch site. Property owners along the river were super helpful as they gave volunteers access to the river as well as help clear rubbish and assist with canoes.
A total of 16 canoes were used as “floating barges” to transport the discarded rubbish. It took a lot of hard work by very dedicated volunteers to get the trash out of the river, load and unload the canoes, get the trash into trucks and trailers but well worth it. Many felt that stretch of the river has not been cleaned in many years…possibly since the flooding of 1986. Since our first cleanup four years ago, over 130 cubic yards of trash has been removed from the river.
Canoes were donated by Frankenmuth Coach owner John Hoornstra, the City of Vassar and the Frankenmuth Boy Scout Troop #255 with leader Mike Kazyak. Over 90 tires, some with rims were transported to the Frankenmuth Department of Public Works for recycling. Many other items including a wine keg, metal shopping cart, four-cylinder engine block, TV and numerous bottles and cans were also removed. Republic Services donated a large blue dumpster, Star of the West donated trucks, Steve Grasel of Grasel Graphics donated t-shirts and the owners of the C & K Corner Store, Charles and Anita Davenport not only got wet and dirty but donated ice cream cones to all volunteers.
2013 plans are to keep going up river, likely from Vassar to M-46 bridge. Peter Haake, Chairman of this years event has volunteered to head up the 2013 event. He can be reached at email@example.com.
This year’s event was sponsored by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Cass River Greenway Committee, Tuscola Conservation District, Tuscola Township, McDonald’s Restaurants in Frankenmuth and Vassar, Bavarian Inn Restaurant, Grasel Graphics, Republic Services, C&K Corner Store in Tuscola and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.