By EDWARD HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Volunteers are being sought to help with the Great Mississippi River Cleanup this Saturday in Quincy and Hannibal, Mo.
The cleanup will take place from 9 a.m. to noon in both communities.
In Quincy, volunteers will gather at 9 a.m. in Kesler Park along the riverfront. In Hannibal, volunteers will meet at Nipper Park.
Boats will be available at both sites to take groups of volunteers to locations along the river to collect whatever trash they can find.
The cleanup is sponsored by Living Lands and Waters (LLW), an environmental organization based in East Moline that's been conducting river cleanups for years. This weekend's cleanup is part of the group's 2013 campaign taking place throughout the summer at Mississippi River locations between St. Paul and St. Louis.
In conjunction with the cleanup, LLW will conduct a series of educational workshops this week and next week in a floating classroom housed inside a 150-foot barge that goes from one community to another.
Amy McCoy, education coordinator for LLW, said two student workshops will take place today (Thursday) in Quincy, and a workshop for teachers is slated for Friday. The teacher workshop will give educators some insight into how they can incorporate river-related ecology lessons into their courses.
Additional educational workshops will take place next Tuesday in Quincy and later in the week in Hannibal, McCoy said.
"Students are not just learning about what's wrong with the river," she said. "They are getting the opportunity to experience how beautiful and dynamic the river system is and how important the river is to our livelihood. They're also going to learn how they can take action to protect and preserve the river in their daily lives."
The river cleanup in Hannibal is co-sponsored by the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department and the 1819 Hannibal Stream Team -- a joint effort of the city and Hannibal's Board of Public Works.
Mary Lynne Richards, who works for the Parks and Recreation Department, is striving to recruit more volunteers for Saturday's cleanup. Anyone interested in helping should show up at Nipper Park at 9 a.m. Supplies and snacks will be provided, she said.
Hannibal participated in the LLW's Mississippi River cleanup last year. Richards said local volunteers collected about a ton of trash.
"We had boaters and we had all these volunteers, and we went out on the islands and along the shores and we gathered all the trash and put it in a few locations," she said. "Then the people from Living Lands and Waters came along with their huge boat and took all the trash bags and tires and propane tanks and everything that we had piled up."
Richards said the cleanup campaign is a good thing for Hannibal, which is why the Parks and Recreation Department is a big supporter of the project.
"We're a river town, and people love looking at the Mississippi River," she said. "Several of our parks have river views and they're on the riverfront, so the Parks Department has a vested interest. We love to be able to help keep the river clean."
TO LEARN MORE
More information about Saturday's Great Mississippi River Cleanup is available at the Living Lands and Waters' website (www.livinglandsandwaters.org) or by emailing Mary Lynne Richards of the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.