Local Resident Heads Mississippi Clean Up Crew

Local Resident Heads Mississippi Clean Up Crew Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jul 20, 2012 at 8:50 am

ST. CLOUD, MN (KNSI) - You can help keep St. Cloud beautiful this weekend by joining a dedicated group of volunteers who get out a couple times a year and clean up along the Mississippi River. 

Patty Tollefson adopted a two-mile stretch of the river through St. Cloud 6 years ago.  She and her group of friends grab their canoes and kayaks and spend a few hours making the river way as pristine as they can, a task that is consistently rewarding.

"It is amazing how much fun we have out there, people thank me for cleaning...and they come back every year. It is rewarding for me and obviously for others," Tollefson.

To join the crew Tollefson said show up at the Wilson Park boat landing at 1 p.m. Saturday with nothing more than comfortable shoes and a boat if you have one. Tollefson said cleaning the river is obviously the main goal, but it never ceases to amaze what they end up cleaning up.

"The parking meter full of change was probably the highlight, we like that one," Tollefson said. "One time we found, somebody thought it was a human bone but it turned out to be a ham bone."

And this year's "spring clean" delayed multiple times due to high waters, will not only just ticket junk for the landfill, instead some of the debris may be found in some local art later this summer.

"The Paramount Visual Art Center is bringing in some local artists and they are going to go through our found objects and bring it back to their studio and create something and it will be unveiled at the august downtown art crawl," Tollefson said.

 Tollefson and her group will be on the river from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Gloves and bags will be provided to every volunteer.

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