From the shores of Lake Michigan to the banks of the mighty Mississippi and all ponds, lakes, and streams in between, Illinois depends on its waterways for agriculture, recreation, drinking water and much more. Unfortunately, our waterways are too often filled with garbage, toxic chemicals, and unwanted waste. Laws protecting our waterways are weak and the political will to fund and enforce cleanup and protection of these waterways is limited. That’s why we need all hands on deck to clean up our local waterways and spread the word about the importance of keeping them clean! By participating in a waterway cleanup this month, you can work with people in your community, state, and world to do your part to protect our waterways and become engaged global citizens in the process.
We are excited to join with our partners at Illinois Global Scholar, Prairie Rivers Network and American Rivers to announce the second annual Illinois Waterway Cleanup Week (recently designated by the Illinois General Assembly) this September 9th-16th. This event calls upon you, community members, and especially students and teachers, to collaborate on a service project of both local and global importance. Last year, Illinois Global Scholar worked with its partners including Sierra Club to coordinate an effort with 35 schools and organizations, which collected over 5,000 pounds of trash!
Illinois Waterway Cleanup Week involves picking up trash along our lake shores, in our rivers, in our streams, and even in roadside ditches and on trails – really any place where litter enters a watershed. Visit www.global-illinois.org/illinois-waterway-cleanup/ to find out more about Illinois Waterway Cleanup Week including nearby events, an app you can download to track the trash you collect, and information on available resources.
September brings lots of Sierra Club waterway cleanup activities across the state, during and beyond Illinois Waterway Cleanup Week. Find one near you and join in the fun!
Blackhawk Group – Rock River Sweep
Join us for the 9th edition of Rock River Sweep to help maintain the cleanliness of our section of the river.
When: Saturday, September 8, 2018 starting at 9 a.m.
Where: Meet at the shelterhouse in back of First National Bank and Trust, E. Main Street in Rockton, IL
Note: We’ll give out assignments, trash bags and gloves. Dress for the weather; long sleeves, long pants and old shoes are recommended. Participants can bring back their trash around noon, when we’ll do the door prizes, refreshments and pizza. We should finish up around 1 p.m.
RSVP: We will again offer the long-sleeve shirts with Rock River Sweep logo. Please RSVP to Loren at firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-289-1152 and specify the number and sizes of shirts you need. Invite family and friends!
Valley of the Fox Group – Algonquin’s It’s Our River Day Cleanup
Join the Sierra Club and partners for Algonquin It’s Our River Day, co-hosted by Environmental Defenders of McHenry County and the Village of Algonquin.
When: Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1-4 pm
Where: Cornish Park, 101 S Harrison St., Algonquin, 60102 (Downtown Algonquin)
“It’s Our River Day,” a statewide celebration, kicks off at 1PM with a welcome from a representative from the Village of Algonquin. The Sierra Club will provide bags and gloves for the shoreline clean-up at the main location at Cornish Park. Volunteers from the Illinois Paddling Council, Water Trailkeepers and Prairie State Canoeists will participate in an in-river clean-up between Cornish Park and Fox River Shores in Carpentersville. The Fox River Jeep Club will be located at Buffalo Park for trash/recycling pick-up downstream.
Cleanup participants will need to sign a waiver at the sign-in table. Young people attending without their parent or guardian should download and have the waiver signed by their guardian and bring it to the event.
All are welcome to help clean up the beautiful Fox River. The event is free and open to the public. Groups are welcome. Parking is available at municipal parking lot at South Harrison St and Washington St and street-side.
Chicago Group – Montrose Beach Cleanup & Nature Tours
For 20 years, Sierra Club Chicago Group has partnered with the Alliance for the Great Lakes to adopt Montrose Beach as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. This year we’re expanding our beach-cleaning coverage by teaming up with members of the Environmental Club from nearby Harry S. Truman College.
When: Saturday, Sept. 15
7 a.m.–9 a.m. – Nature tour and beginning birder walk at Montrose Beach
9 a.m.–12 p.m. – Beach cleanup and more nature tours
Where: 200 W. Montrose Harbor Drive (see additional directions below)
To note: Come for all or part of the work period. Dress for the weather, wear a hat and sunscreen, bring a filled water bottle and work gloves if you have them. No dogs allowed. All ages welcome.
Volunteer crew leaders needed! If you would like to assist with any of the event duties (setup, registration, breakdown, etc.), please contact Jeff Shelden. Coffee and donuts provided!
RSVP: Please register here (for all individuals & groups). For more info, contact Christine Williamson.
Additional Directions: We will meet at Montrose Beach House at 7:00 a.m. Look for the Sierra Club banners and/or tents near the southeast end of the large white building. Parking is free and bike racks are provided. Montrose Beach House is a 10 to 15 minute walk from the bus stops at Montrose and Marine Drive.
Piasa Palisades Group – The Great Mississippi River Cleanup
The Great Mississippi River Cleanup includes a free boat ride, t-shirt and lunch. Pre-registration is required by September 13th. Volunteers 17 & younger must have adult supervisor with them.
When: Saturday, Sept. 22 at 9am – 12pm
Where: 4 clean-up boats leaving out of Grafton, IL (exact location TBD – likely at the Grafton Harbor)
RSVP: Volunteers must sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0b44aaab2aa0ff2-2018
Eagle View Group – Illinois Waterway Cleanup
We are partnering with Keep Moline Beautiful, XStream Cleanup, Augustana Student Sierra Coalition & Rock Island High School Environmental Action Club for a cleanup of the Rock River.
When: Sun, Sep 23 at 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Where: 4540 3rd St, Moline, IL 61265
We will meet at the head of the Moline Kiwanis bike path behind UnityPoint (Trinity) Medical Center at 7th St & 52nd Ave. Park in the small lot by the path or in the lot across the street.
RSVP: Sign up here. Each person needs to register individually to sign the waiver.
Questions? Contact Kristen Bergren at email@example.com