From the Friends of the River
DEVIN GILL, Friends of the Shiawassee River Director as she spoke to volunteers near the Oakwood Avenue Bridge in Owosso on Saturday morning, Aug. 1, before cleanup work begin. Her final day with the FOSR is Aug. 13. (Independent Photo/BILL CONSTINE)
The Friends of the Shiawassee River (FOSR) and the Shiawassee County Health Department (SCHD) thank the community members who participated in the 18th annual River Cleanup and tire collection, and the supporters who made this event possible.
“Thank you to our volunteers and supporters for being wonderful stewards of the environment,” said Larry Johnson, SCHD Director. “Our freshwater resources are important not only to the economy and environment, but to the health of our citizens. Your efforts will ensure the Shiawassee River and its resources are enjoyed by future generations.”
On Saturday, Aug. 1, 122 volunteers helped to remove approximately 13 cubic yards of debris, as well as 56 tires from the river; 622 tires in total were collected during the tire recycling effort. Clean-up crews were sent to multiple locations on the river between McCurdy Park and Henderson Park, picking up trash from over 7 miles of the river.
County Board of Commissioners Chairman Hartmann Aue was among the volunteers at this year’s event. “It was a great day for Shiawassee County. I commend the hard work of the County Health Department and the Friends of the Shiawassee River. We all have a shared interest in preserving our natural resources, and today, the community did just that,” said Aue.
Sponsors of this year’s cleanup included Mancino’s of Owosso, J&S Tire, Cheff’s Canoe Rental, Owosso Graphic Arts, Oster Superior Threading, The Bagelman, Waste Management and the Great Lakes Commission.
Over the past 18 years, hundreds of cubic yards of waste have been removed from the river. More than 10,000 privately owned tires have been brought to the tire collection for proper disposal and recycling.
“It’s shocking and sometimes funny, the things volunteers find in the river,” said FOSR Director Devin Gill. “This year, we found an overhead projector, a fake human skull and a kid-sized electric jeep! Families, businesses, students, elected officials, all kinds of people came together to care for the river at this event, and to let it be known that the Shiawassee shouldn’t be our dumping ground! It should be a source of pride for the community.”
Since River Cleanup and tire collection efforts began, there has been a gradual decline in the amount of debris and tires collected from the river. The river is becoming healthier every year thanks, in part, to these efforts by the community.