Volunteers welcome to help on Platte River cleanup day

The Friends and staff of Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, along with the Royalton Lions, will host the eighth annual Platte River cleanup day Saturday, June 7. The group wants it to be a day of fun and enjoyment while working to beautify a section of the Platte River. The cleanup effort is part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Adopt-a-River Program.

The program will begin at 8 a.m., meeting at the Crane Meadows Shop Facility. Participants will be divided into crews. From there crews will be shuttled to launch their canoes to clean a 26.5 mile stretch of the Platte River from State Highway 27 to the Mississippi River.

This section of the River has been divided into several canoe routes. Groups will be dropped off and picked up at select locations. The Royalton Lions Club will also be floating portions to cover the 26.5 mile stretch of river. The float will be relaxing since travel is always downstream with the current. Participants are encouraged to enjoy the river by fishing, bird watching, or just floating along taking in the beautiful sights and scenery while cleaning the river as you canoe. Those who do not wish to canoe may clean river access points or the along refuge headquarters road.

“This is your chance to enjoy this magnificent resource while giving a little back,” said Paul Soler, wildlife refuge specialist at Crane Meadows. To register or for more information call (320) 632-1575. Registration deadline is Thursday, June 5.

Participants should dress and prepare appropriately for outdoor conditions, i.e., sun block, insect repellent. The event will be postponed due to heavy rain or lightning. Several canoes are available for use, as well as life jackets and paddles; however, participants may supply their own. Kayaks work just as well. Participants are also asked to bring a cellphone. A shuttle will be available for drop-off and pick-up at designed points.