Thursday, March 14, 2013

Help Make the Minnesota River Cleaner: Volunteer for a Clean-Up Today

This is a volunteer request from the Friends of the Minnesota Valley:
The Friends of the Minnesota Valley are getting ready for this year’s spring Community Clean-Ups for Water Quality, and we need your help! Clean-Ups help stop river and lake pollution caused by excess phosphorus contained in ground-up leaves, grass clippings, and dirt that collect along boulevards and in our streets during the winter. We are looking for groups of volunteers who can set aside a 2-4 hour window on any day between snowmelt and April 15th. All you will need is bags, gloves, and rakes or brooms. Gather your friends, pick or sweep up debris, and either haul it to your local compost facility or contact the city and see if you can make arrangements for pick-up of your bags. If you do it yourself, a pick-up and some strong backs usually does the trick.
Please count your bags: Five (5) large lawn and leaf bags weigh an average of 100 pounds, which contains one (1) pound of phosphorus. Please report your findings back to us, including number of bags, approximate pounds, and number of volunteers at We will be keeping track and will publicly recognize the winning community on our website, in our newsletter, and in your local media. We will even come out for a photo opportunity (photo op)! This year, we are trying something new. We will be sponsoring a contest, announcing the “Community Clean-Up Community of the Year”, along with a $250 cash award to the community or group that produces the greatest Clean-Up results. All Clean-Up participants who include an email address when reporting their results will receive a certificate of appreciation that they can print and frame.
If you are interested in conducting a Clean-Up in your community, please contact Lori Nelson at 952-858-0732 or, or Scott Sparlin at 507-276-2280 or To learn more about the Community Clean-Ups for Water Quality, please visit the Friends’ website and watch our Clean-Ups video or go to to download a free Community Clean-Ups for Water Toolkit.