Saturday, November 14, 2009

Upper Mississippi Shakedown



The Dude and I, and several of his friends, spent a lovely 2 hours cleaning the eastern banks of the Mississippi River in St. Paul. How did we come to do this you may ask?

One of the Dude’s classmates determined that the Mississippi River banks needed cleaning – and she set out to do something about it. She wanted to gather a group to spend several hours cleaning along the river, and worked with school staff to put a notice in the school newsletter.

There were six kids and three grown-ups at today’s event – a great kick-off for this group which promises to grow and do more clean-ups.

[The Dude climbing the river bank bluffs.]

I was amazed at the “interesting” stuff that one finds along the banks of the mighty Mississippi. I found a few items that Mark Twain would never have thought of – or maybe he would have?? In addition to spectacular bluffs and views, this particular portion of the river is known for its “social” life. It’s essentially a place where one parties and meets folks for “adult interaction”. Apparently the signs posted by the city stating that certain illegal behaviors can result in one’s picture being posted on the city’s website haven’t quite done the trick. The youngest of us – a kindergartener – happened upon the section of the river bank where most of the adult partying occurs. She had no idea what she picked up and handed to me. Luckily we were wearing disposable gloves. I quickly cleaned up the rest of the evidence, even locating two stashes of interesting reading material.

Most of the litter was of a more mundane sort – lots of cans, bottles, and plastic crap. Yuck. In addition to the interesting finds mentioned earlier, we did uncover one pair of underwear, one bra, a car muffler, two full cans of beer (Coors Light 16 oz), a hack-saw, and a small football – possibly a dog’s fetch toy.

[Looking south towards the Lake Street bridge.]

All-in-all it was a very successful outing. We collected over six garbage bags of junk – and had a great time doing it.

[People of a certain age will recognize the title of the this post.]

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