The annual Clean Sweep of the Great Miami River Watershed includes the work of hundreds of volunteers from Indian Lake to the Ohio River. The work is coordinated by various section leaders so that the entire 156 miles of the river is included in the clean up effort. Volunteer groups walk the banks were possible and canoe and boat in other sections to pick up trash and debris that finds its way into the river. This year the Clean Sweep was dedicated to the memory and energy of Jerry Guey of Quincy who loved this river, built a home on its banks, and started cleaning sections of the river near his home and encouraged others to co likewise. The result of his effort has become the annual Clean Sweep. Jerry often participated in the Sweep in Logan County, the most northern section of the event.
This year 32 volunteers supported by the Solid Waste District Staff of five canoed about 14.5 miles of the 17.5 miles of the river in Logan County between Indian Lake and Quincy, Ohio. About thee miles of the river is inaccessible because of massive log jams that have grown over the years in certain areas. This year volunteers came from Honda, a youth fellowship group from DeGraff and many individuals and families. Because the water level was so low the volunteers could walk most of the river pulling canoes rather than paddling them. Many tires were located on the river bottom and pulled up by volunteers. This year 49 tires were pulled from the river and are headed to a recycling facility. This is by far the largest haul in tires to date. There were many other objects of wood, steel, and plastic pulled from the river; in all 3, 032 pounds lifted, paddled and loaded into waiting trucks for disposal.
We are grateful for the volunteers who undertake this task because it is dirty, muddy work. The Clean Sweep is fun however and volunteers enjoy the day, have a great lunch when they return to the DeGraff Park where the Sweep is organized. Each volunteer also takes home a great t-shirt with the Sweep Logo on the front. The Clean Sweep has become so popular that we did not advertise this year for volunteers and in the end had to turn away a few groups that wanted to participate.
Above Hayley Cochran, Olivia Huffman and Samantha Schipfer pull another tire from the river. To the right Dan Branson paddles a large farm tractor tire perched on his canoe.