Glen Ellyn Park District volunteers to help with countywide DuPage River Sweep
Glen Ellyn, IL -- Individuals, families and community groups are invited to pitch in Saturday, May 20 when a countywide effort gets underway to clean rivers and other waterways in DuPage County.
The Glen Ellyn Park District is joining forces with several other environmentally-friendly agencies for the 2017 DuPage County River Sweep.
"The clean-up focuses on the east and west branches of the DuPage River," said Renae Frigo, naturalist with the Glen Ellyn Park District. "A few years ago, the Conservation Foundation asked the Glen Ellyn Park District to step in and help coordinate the local effort."
The Sweep, an annual one-day event, began in 1991 and is coordinated by The Conservation Foundation, a nonprofit Naperville-based land and watershed protection organization.
Since it started, more than 261 tons of trash have been removed from DuPage County rivers by a volunteer force that numbers close to 12,000 people.
The Glen Ellyn Park District's portion of this year's project focuses on a one-mile stretch of the DuPage River that winds through the Churchill Wood Forest Preserve.
"With many islands and lagoons, there is a lot of water frontage," said Frigo.
Volunteers in Glen Ellyn mainly will concentrate on removing debris from the shoreline. Frigo said the day may also include some invasive plant control.
While the park district will supply some gloves, bags and trash pickers, Frigo said she recommends volunteer bring leather gloves, rubber boots, sunscreen, insect repellent, long pants, and a hat.
"It can get muddy, so bring boots," she said.
The day begins at 9 a.m. and continues until about noon. Volunteers will meet in the western-most parking lot at Churchill Woods Forest Preserve, 900 W. St. Charles Rd., Lombard.
Volunteers from the Village of Lombard will share clean-up duties for this portion of the river with Glen Ellyn Park District volunteers. The Lombard liaison is expected to bring a kayak to help with trash removal.
Frigo said some odd items have been retrieved from the river in past river sweeps.
"Last year, we pulled a safe out of the river," she said.
"And I think I pulled a toboggan out."
Other oddities have included lawn ornaments, tires, shoes, and a hula hoop.
Registration is required to participate; there is no fee.
To register, please visit www.gepark.org/event/dupage-county-river-sweep and www.theconservationfoundation.org/sweep.