Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 3, 2011

Volunteers needed to ‘Detrash the Wabash’

Saturday’s event about cleanup and education.

Peru — The Wabash River may always be muddy and slow, but it doesn’t have to be littered.

As it weaves through the city, it’s clogged by log jams and discarded trash. But not for long, if Jamin Beisiegel has his way.

Stormwater coordinator for Peru Utilities and advocate for cleaning the river, Beisiegel is reaching out to the community to help “Detrash the Wabash” from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Volunteers will clean up the river’s banks.

The semi-annual river cleanup occurs in the spring and fall, he said. The purpose is to not only clean up the river, but also to make people aware of the river’s significance through education.

“We tell them that anything you put into a storm drain goes into the river. All pipes lead here,” said Beisiegel, who has been with the utility for almost five years.

“You would be appalled at some of the things you find in the river. We’ve found a wheel chair, a shopping cart and a brand new bicycle. We want to educate people about the river and keep it clean.”

To accomplish that, Beisiegel understands he needs volunteers.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the intersection of West City Park Canal Street and Park Avenue. They are asked to wear boots, long-sleeved shirts and gloves.

He expects that if the weather is good, “we may get 100. If the weather is lousy, we will get a lot fewer.”

Not relying upon Mother Nature’s fickleness, Beisiegel has coordinated the cleanup with Charlie Skoog, the Adopt-A-River director for the Wildcat Guardians, a private environmental/

recreational organization.

As its director, Skoog leads and facilitates litter and debris cleanups for the Kokomo portion of the Wildcat Creek — a major tributary of the Wabash connecting near Lafayette.

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