Great Turnout For Friends of Pool 9 Clean Up
It happened again, residents from all over the tri-state area joined the clean up of the 90 square miles of the Mississippi River know as Pool 9, from Genoa, Wisconsin to Lynxville and Lock & Dam 10. Men and women of all ages, and whole families as well descended on the VFW building in Lansing willing to be assigned an area on the river to clean. They walked along the shorelines and searched the backwaters in boats. Volunteers came from Waukon, Decorah, Calmar, Caledonia, and New Albin. They came from Genoa, De Soto, Ferryville, Lynxville and other unknown areas, to take part in the event. Everyone received a free bright green 2016 FOP9 Clean Up T-shirt, water, gloves, garbage bags, and a noon lunch in appreciation for their efforts. Thirty willing walkers (young and old alike) walked the ever difficult Highway 82 dike crossing the river corridor. As usual they removed an assortment of beer containers, plastic trash, car tires, and other items such as an Interstate car battery, and filled 44 garbage bags. It's no easy task to climb down the rock embankment on the shoulder of the road to retrieve a plastic drink cup, but that's what they did, over and over again.
Groups were deployed to the beaches to pick trash and sift through the twenty-five FOP9 fire rings scattered along the river northward to Boot Jack Island across from Black Hawk Park. Sand from the rings was shoveled through metal screens and all the small pieces of debris collected. The fire rings are to be enjoyed by beach users, burning only wood. Plastic and other items are forbidden by the Upper Miss Refuge.
The Brennan Landing in south Lansing was used as a dumpster site, and with the help of a tractor provided by Jim Kerndt, filled the 40 cubic yarder to capacity. Old docks and styrofoam floats were removed from the river and recycled. Metal and plastic barrels were again fairly common, but the trash in the middle part of Pool 9 has definitely lessened.
Another area of concentration for cleaning this year was the upper end of Pool 9, just below Lock & Dam 8 at Genoa, Wisconsin. Six boats were assigned to that area specifically and were able to retrieve a large number of barrels and debris from the islands. The dumpster at Black Hawk Park was filled with trash and 25 barrels and fifteen tires remained along side. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) landing was assisted by Park staff, and offered the 35 FOP9 volunteers to use their facility as a bathroom and lunch site.
Groups of volunteers also cleaned the two-mile stretch along the Army Road east of New Albin, Visigers Landing and Millstone Landing, the County Road entrance to Black Hawk Park and the entrance road and parking area at the Dairyland Power boat landing. Boats also went out from Ferryville and Lynxville, Wisconsin as well as Heytman's Landing along the Iowa shore. It was a great day for the river and gave volunteers a feeling of satisfaction.
Friends of Pool 9 would like to thank the Lansing VFW, Brennan Construction, Waste Management of Allamakee County, Prairie du Chien, and Vernon County, US Fish & Wildlife, Black Hawk Park (USACOE), Jim Kerndt, and more importantly the140 individuals that gave their time and energy on a cool, windy, and wet day to make this event a success. There are few places along the Upper Mississippi River that have this kind of support from organizations and residents. This is a major effort and shows the commitment and concern many have for our little part of the world. We feel that Pool 9 is one of the cleanest and best parts of the Upper Mississippi, thanks to all of you. Boats also went out from Ferryville and Lynxville, Wisconsin as well as Heytman's Landing along the Iowa shore. The Wisconsin volunteers recovered a record 42 tires, a refrigerator, and window frames that had been discarded into the river. Sad but true. In the end it was a great day for Mother river and gave all the volunteers a feeling of pride and accomplishment for what we just did.