Volunteers stand beside trash that was collected during a cleanup of the Big Piney River.

More than 65 volunteers floated the Big Piney River on July 17 and collected trash along the way.

The Big Piney Watershed Committee — along with Top of the Ozarks Resource Conservation and Development — sponsored the event as an effort to connect people to the river through hands-on stewardship and educational activities. It was the first big clean up event on the Big Piney River.

Participants traveled from local communities as well as the Springfield, Jefferson City, Columbia and St. Louis areas to meet early Saturday morning at Boiling Springs Resort in Licking. Approximately 25 canoes and kayaks were sent out, covering a 14.5-mile stretch of the Big Piney River as volunteers searched for trash, tires and other objects that were in the river as well as the banks and piles of drift wood.

Twenty-eight tires were picked up. One was still attached to a wheel and two were from a large diesel truck. Other items found were headlights, a rusted paint can, standing toilet seat, 10-foot corrugated piece of metal, 55 gallon metal drum, half of a 55 gallon plastic drum, a thermos, articles of clothing and shoes as well as glass and plastic bottles, aluminum cans, aerosol cans and random pieces of metal. All trash is being recycled or disposed of.

This event was possible with the help of local sponsors through monetary donations to help with food and canoes for volunteers as well as gifts for door prizes for volunteers. For a full list of sponsors, trash and for photos from the event, visit Top of the Ozarks’ website at http://www.totorcd.org/energy-natural-resource/water-quality


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