Saturday, April 20, 2013

Milwaukee's rivers get cleaned up

It was a chilly but bright morning and Milwaukee area residents turned out in force to clean up the three rivers. The annual River Clean Up occurs on the Saturday closest to Earth Day. It is sponsored by Milwaukee Riverkeeper, the Urban Ecology Center, among other organizations. I toured three of the sites many sites where crews were out picking up trash and other debris. Here is a brief photo essay of the morning's activity, which included a stranger than usual find in one of the rivers.

First stop: Honey Creek in Wauwatosa.

Lindsay and Mel pause for a pose.

Barcalounger, anyone?

A group of girls from St. Joan Antida High School lend a hand.

Next stop, the Menomonee Valley. Here volunteers stroll along the Hank Aaron State Trail near Miller Park.

Picking up trash on the riverbank near the Hank Aaron State Trail's Valley Passage.

Jeff, a staff member of the Menomonee Valley Branch of the Urban Ecology Center, tries to wrestle a large piece of sheet metal from the river.

An Urban Ecology Center team picks invasive garlic mustard in conjunction with the river clean up.

My third stop was the Kinnickinnic River, where some heavy lifting was going on.

Seriously heavy lifting!

Luckily Poseidon lent a hand. (His real name is Tim.)

Wes wins the annual prize for finding the strangest item in the river. This leather valise was discovered to contain articles of clothing, a pistol, and bricks. The bricks, presumably, were in there to make sure the stash of incriminating evidence stayed at the bottom of the river. Little did the perpetrators of whatever this implies know that the riverkeepers would discover it!

Someone called 911 and within minutes officers Pelczynski and Campos responded. They cautiously inspected the bag.

And retrieved the gun.

Close inspection revealed it to be a BB gun. The story of its disposal in the river, in the bag with the clothing, remains a mystery.

To see additional photos, go to my flickr page

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