River clean up a success

Saturday’s cleanup of a five-mile stretch of the Portage River drew a small but productive group of volunteers.

The first of seven river and river bank cleanups scheduled this season by the St. Joseph County Conservation District drew seven participants. Collectively, the group recovered eight tires, an assortment of cans and bottles, and other forms of debris from the river between Silver Street in Mendon Township and the Parkville Road bridge, in Park Township.

Jen Miller, conservation district administrator, said the threat of rain may have kept more people from participating. Still, she called the venture a success in the agency’s plan to clean all 150 miles of rivers and river banks in the county between 2011 and 2015.

The next scheduled cleanup is June 9, when volunteers will tackle a stretch of the Prairie River between the canoe park in Centreville and ending at Hoshel Road, in Lockport Township. Rain date for that event is June 16.

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