River cleanup program a success

Organizers behind an effort benefitting St. Joseph County waterways have called the sixth year of the cleanup program a success.
The St. Joseph County Conservation District and a team of volunteers completed the final event of the year Monday, when a stretch of the Portage River from North Fisher Lake Road to Carpenter Road was cleared.
Carolyn Grace, director of the conservation district, said 2016 was considered a strong year that saw 126 volunteers collectively at the six cleanups, including 34 who were first-time volunteers.
In all this year, an estimated 2,400 pounds of debris were plucked from portions of the St. Joseph and Portage rivers. The items included 22 tires, six barrels, two mattresses, an abundance of bottles and cans, and, according to Grace, the most-interesting item: a 200-pound thresher wheel taken this week from the Portage River.
Photos from this year’s cleanups can be found on the agency’s webpage: stjoecountycd.com.

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