The Friends of Wild River State Park has an annual summer tradition of gathering to canoe down part of the river—from Sunrise Landing to Wild River State Park Landing—to clean up any trash found along the way. While the event serves as a fun excuse to go for a paddle, it also plays an important role of keeping our shared resource clean for others to enjoy. What makes it even better is that we often don’t find much trash at all, showing us that others value the river just as much.
This year, the group—which included Friends volunteers and interns from the St. Croix River Association—met on Saturday morning, July 14th. It’s roughly 8 or 9 miles between the two landings, and what usually takes the better part of a day only took about 3 hours to paddle due to the fast-moving water. As many have been seeing in the news, the recent heavy rainfalls up north have raised the river’s level significantly and created fast currents. Very little trash was found (a pink plastic flamingo was this year’s amusing find), but it was a great time anyways, with picture-perfect weather. A recent tradition also involves sharing a watermelon for lunch, which is the perfect summer treat on the river.
The Friends of Wild River State Park would like to extend some special thank yous to Wild River Canoe Rental for providing shuttle service for free; to Jaime Souza, Robert Boss, and all the interns from the St. Croix River Association; to Wild River State Park Naturalist Mike Dunker; and to all the volunteers who came out to help. Thank you all for your help and making it a wonderful day.
For those interested in volunteering with the Friends’ river cleanup event, it is usually held the second weekend of July each year. For more information and for next year’s date, go to www.friendsofwildriver.org.
Content written by: Marjorie Otto, Friends of Wild River State Park Board Member
Photo provided by: Friends of Wild River State Park