Several tons of trash were collected as the Ozark Heritage Project hosted its 12th Annual River Clean-Up on Current River July 25. More than 80 volunteers participated.
Don Reynold’s boat won the Most Trash award and received a commercial grade stainless steel Sucker Scorer donated by Wayne Swyzers of Ellington, the Klingman family won for the Largest Single Group and selected an aluminum dog-feeder donated by Heartland Feeds of Ellington. Among the debris removed from the stream were nearly a dozen tires, two railroad ties, parts of the frontend of a vehicle, several other timbers and more than 30 of the large green-mesh bags supplied by Missouri Stream Team. Stream Team also supplied free work gloves and T-shirts.
Debris was gathered from approximately six miles above Van Buren and as far upstream as the gravel bar right below Two Rivers. Much of the larger debris is still from the massive flooding in 2017. Plans are already being made for the 13th Annual Log Yard event that will be in July 2021.
Extra steps were taken this year because of COVID-19, with cooks and servers wearing facemasks and gloves and using numerous fans to circulate plenty of fresh air, even though the event was outside. Social distancing was encouraged, with most volunteers remaining within the family and friends group with whom they came. No group picture was taken as an added precaution. More pictures of the event may be seen on the Rick Mansfield Facebook page.
For the past two years, OHP has hosted events that have removed more than 40 tons of debris from local streams and watersheds.
Volunteers were served hot fried fish and potatoes courtesy of Ellington’s Town & Country Supermarket. The event was sponsored by Blazer Boats of Ellington, Town & Country Bank of Salem along with perennial sponsors Tom and Della Bedell (owners of The Landing) of Van Buren. Numerous other businesses from around the area donated door prizes.