The 2019 DuPage River Sweep fit nicely into the morning of May 18 before thunderstorms and high winds could cause any problems. Water level on the West Branch registered about 280 cfs at 5’ on the Naperville gauge.
Prairie State Canoeists met at the “Three Diamonds” put-in at Stauffer and Hidden Spring Rds. in Naperville. Co-leader Kathi Landow organized the car shuttle, with Sherri Graham doing the honors. Seven of us in canoes and kayaks worked our way down along Will-o-way Commons and along the Naperville Riverwalk, where an army of cystic fibrosis fundraisers offered encouragement. In spite of recent flooding, the turbid waters gave up a steady yield of plastic bottles and packaging – the usual trash, adding up to some dozen bags full. Larger items the paddlers dragged out included construction cones, chicken wire, and a rug and a folding chair. If there was a prize for “best” piece of junk, it might go to Sherri for the fishing rod she reeled in. All this bounty was left by the trash barrels along the trail at Pioneer Park.
Back in Warrenville a few reliable volunteers worked along the shores. Daniel Elvira and his crew (Cecilia Gerber, Bob Kanara ) continued their work along Ferry Creek starting near Meadow Ave. Their efforts resulted in seven or more bags plus miscellaneous sticks and pipes and a good-sized wooden gate.
Dale Williams and his West Branch crew from Emmanuel Baptist Church worked their usual stretch along River Road. Joined by Michelle Borrero, they gathered up six or seven bags of trash plus steel signposts and a construction barricade.
Thanks to the Conservation Foundation for the garbage bags, water, snacks and grabbers for our volunteers. The junk left by Daniel’s and Dale’s crews was picked up by myself. I expected a dumpster at Mack Road Canoe Landing, but since there wasn’t one, I added our contribution to the pile left at the riverbank by another group. I assume Forest Preserve District personnel had easy access to it there. Whether on water or land, thanks to everyone who helped make the 2019 DuPage River Sweep a success.
Ray Ziemer, Warrenville Community Liaison
The Conservation Foundation
Prairie State Canoeists Trip Leaders