Thirty Abbott employees and seven members of the St. Joseph County Conservation District took part in a special river cleanup Monday.
The volunteers broke into three groups and cleared debris from the Portage River from the Portage Lake public access in Mendon Township to Carpenter Road in Lockport Township.
Event organizer Carolyn Grace said the Abbott employees were given the day off for participating in the cleanup. The haul included a number of tires, lawn furniture, a burn barrel, numerous bottles and cans, and an assortment of odds and ends.
Grace said she appreciates the support from the Sturgis plant and hopes other companies might consider the same incentive for their employees.
The stretch of the Portage River was last cleaned in 2016 by volunteers with the agency’s River Cleanup.
The conservation district’s next regularly scheduled cleanup is Sept. 9 on the Prairie River. It will mark the final cleanup of the summer.