Volunteers haul loads of junk from Meramec River this weekend | St. Louis Public Radio

Volunteers haul loads of junk from Meramec River this weekend

Aug 26, 2012

Volunteers in St. Louis and eastern Missouri spent the weekend sprucing up 500 miles of the Meramec River and its tributaries.

From tires to an old sink, teams hauled away boat loads of junk, literally.

Callie Walla is the event and volunteer coordinator for The Open Space Council, which organized the event.

She said the low water level brought on by the lingering drought made it easier and safer for everyone.

“It helps that the river is kind of low and we can get debris out, but then we don’t have to worry about swift water, deep water,” Walla said.  “So, yeah, I think it was kind of a blessing this year, we could get trash that they may have not been able to get in years past.”

There were 40 cleanup sites in the St. Louis area, and online enrollment doubled as compared to last year.

In Kirkwood alone, more than 500 volunteers showed up at Greentree Park and Walla said its now attracting multiple generations of volunteers.

“I think people are just starting to hear about it from older generations, their parents used to participate in it and now they're having kids and want to do family activities,” Walla said.  “I think social media is also a big help.  You put one thing on Facebook and it goes to hundreds of people.”