GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The 19th Annual Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup started Saturday morning with a celebration.
This week-long event brings together mayors, elected officials and volunteers from several different west Michigan communities.
“There’s a ton of volunteers here,” Sen. Mark Huizenga, (R) 28th District, said. “People from all over the area come out here to say, ‘look, clean water is important to us,’ to be part of a solution.”
Groups of five or more people can sign up to adopt a site along the river, which they can clean at their own convenience throughout the week.
The pandemic changed the structure of the 2022 cleanup, compared to previous years, but many volunteers say the new model might even work a little better.
“It’s just a different feel, but it’s also more personal this way. You can work at your own pace. If you want to work longer or shorter, again, it’s something for everybody,” Sen. Huizenga told FOX 17. “This new model says, ‘let’s get together and make sure that it’s a flexible time so people can use it based on the weather.’ If it’s good weather or bad weather, they can decide to go out or not go out and to have a chance to do any area that you want, so between Walker, Wyoming, Grandville, Grand Rapids, it’s all part of it.”
Event organizers provide gloves and trash bags, and participants are urged to track their impact using the Clean Swell mobile up.
“[Saturday], a lot of it will be along the riverbank. In this coming week, there will be a lot of kayaks out in the water. They’re going to be pulling things out there and you realize sometimes in the different parts of the river, there’s logs and so forth that catch things and so we’re really going to, this is going to be an intensive effort for a little while here making sure we make a big dent in this,” Mayor Gary Carey of the city of Walker said.
The Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup runs through Saturday, September 17.
For more information or to register, click here.