On April 21, over 70 volunteers in kayaks, rafts, canoes, and rubber boots came out to clean up the lower stretches of the Nisqually River. The weather cooperated with bright spring sun and strong spring flows in the river, making it a great day for people from near and far to come enjoy the Nisqually.
The clean-up was organized and co-sponsored by the Washington Kayak Club, Washington Recreational River Runners, and Paddle Trails Canoe Club, who contributed leadership, technical assistance, transportation, and, most importantly, dozens of boaters full of enthusiasm. More than 40 rafts, catarafts, kayaks, and canoes made the float, which made a colorful sight setting off down the river laden with garbage cans and trash bags. Foundation staff and volunteers from Nisqually Stream Stewards and the community also helped out on land, collecting litter at the water access sites and sorting trash brought in by the boaters. In total, we cleaned up 17 river miles, from McKenna Park in Roy to the 6th Avenue WDFW Water Access Site. We collected over 2080 pounds and 15 yards of trash: notable debris included a large metal tank, a gas lawn mower, and part of a deck!
The Nisqually River Council was thrilled to be part of this event. We greatly appreciate all the tremendous support from the boating clubs, volunteers, and institutions who made it possible, including Thurston County Public Works and LeMay Pacific Disposal, for donating trash collection supplies and hauling and disposing free of charge; Centralia City Light and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, for providing public water access points at McKenna Park, Nisqually Park, and 6th Avenue; and American Whitewater, American Canoe Association, and American Rivers National River Cleanup for technical support and guidance to the local boating clubs. Above all, a huge thanks to organizer Greg Provenzano, who masterminded the event, brought together all the partners, and made sure every detail was taken care of for a fun and successful day. Check out our Facebook page for more photos of all the clean-up action and everyone who came out to help.
Nisqually River Water Trail and Recreational Stewardship
If you’re out on the Nisqually this summer, remember to boat responsibly and practice good stewardship by packing out trash and following Leave No Trace principles. The Nisqually River Water Trail plan, adopted by the NRC earlier this year, has lots of resources for recreating safely on the river. Check back for new information as the plan is implemented!