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Local

Volunteers needed for Rock River Sweep, now set for Sept. 29

Rock River Sweep treasurer Steve Rypkema hauls off bags of garbage that fellow volunteer Jeff Hallock picked up below the overlook on state Route 2 at last year's Rock River Sweep.
Rock River Sweep treasurer Steve Rypkema hauls off bags of garbage that fellow volunteer Jeff Hallock picked up below the overlook on state Route 2 at last year's Rock River Sweep.

OREGON – It looks like there’s a silver lining to recent storm clouds.

The annual Rock River Sweep is moved to 7:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 29, and volunteers shouldn’t have any problem finding refuse. The recent rains that raised water levels up and down the Rock River – and delayed the Sept. 8 event – also put more garbage within reach.

“The recent high water has dislodged a considerable amount of trash, and much of it has been deposited on the banks at the high-water mark,” organizer Terry Schuster said. “It is expected this will help us see and access the trash more easily.”

Volunteers are needed, on foot or in boats, to clean up a 9-mile section of the river, from north of the boat landing on state Route 2 to the Castle Rock State Park boat landing.

Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. at Kiwanis Park, behind Conover Square, at North Second and Franklin streets. White Pelican Canoe & Kayak Rental Inc. will provide a limited number of canoes and free shuttle service from Castle Rock boat landing back to the park for those with their own canoes or kayaks.

Participants should check in at the park, where they will be assigned a section of river to clean up.

There will be several drop-off sites for trash along the cleanup route; Oregon Park District and the Ogle County Solid Waste Management Department crews take the trash to Kiwanis Park for sorting and recycling.

Gloves, safety vests, trash bags, bug spray, snacks and water will be available, as well as a limited number of T-shirts for sale. Participants should wear long sleeves, long pants, and old shoes. Refreshments will be served afterward.

Sponsored by RockRiverSweep.org, the cleanup runs from Horicon, Wisconsin, to where the Rock meets the Mississippi River in Rock Island.

Find Rock River Sweep on Facebook, go to rockriversweep.org, email commissioner.schuster@gmail.com or call 815-988-3202 for more information.

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