Volunteers also gathered at Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Park. Courtesy photo
Volunteers stand with the shopping cards they pulled out of Gilkey Creek at Kearsley Park. Courtesy photo
This yard waste was collected from the Lewis Street EcoPark Rain Garden. Courtesy photo
FLINT, Michigan — More than 320 volunteers from Genesee and Lapeer counties descended on the Flint River on April 27 as part of the annual, three-hour, marathon effort to clean, beautify, and care for the winding waterway.
And, once again, they hauled away tons during Flint River Stewardship day: 412 bags of trash, 95 tires, plus 40 bags and two large dumpsters full of yard waste. Buried in all that were quite a few surprises.
Volunteers found antlers, televisions, shopping carts, a record player with broken Motown records, ultrasound pictures, wooden paddles and life jackets, a truck topper, and a safe. The Flint River Watershed Coalition gives the “Golden Gloves Award” to the find voted the most unusual or interesting item. A public poll will decide the winner, who will be announced at the annual Flint River Watershed Coalition’s annual celebration in January.
The event also included educational activities to help promote continued stewardship of the Flint River and its surrounding landscape. For-Mar offered lessons on water quality monitoring and the proper removal of invasive species that plague our region and Lewis Street Rain Garden and Flushing Township Nature Park had hands-on lessons regarding green landscaping.
“We are thrilled to see people eager to learn more about what else they can do to improve stream health in our community and beyond,” says Autumn Mitchell, Flint River Watershed Coalition Education Programs Manager.
Volunteers worked at multiple sites, including Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Park, Atwood Stadium, Thread Lake, Habitat for Humanity, Holloway Dam Canoe Access Area, Mott Park Recreation Area, Gilkey Creek at Pierce School and Applewood estate, Carriage Town, Kearsley Park, Flint Park Lake, For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum, Flushing Riverview Park, Flushing Township Nature Park, Lewis Street EcoPark, and Neighborhood Engagement Hub in Genesee County. There were six additional sites in Lapeer County.