WMEAC to host weeklong Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup

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The 2019 Mayor's Grand River Cleanup was the last one-day event before COVID required changing the format. Courtesy Megan Steenwyk

The West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) will kick off a weeklong version of the annual Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup this Saturday.

WMEAC will host the 18th annual Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup from Sept. 11-18. The cleanup has traditionally been a one-day event, but this year, as with last year, it will be a weeklong campaign with special events throughout the week, following COVID-19 safety measures. Volunteers will clean up streets, storm drains and streams to keep area rivers healthy.

The event will kick off from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 11, with mayors from the cities of Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Walker and East Grand Rapids on the Blue Bridge in downtown Grand Rapids. The kickoff will include special guests from The Diatribe and students reading their poems they wrote in this summer’s environmental justice poetry program, We Are Water, at Blandford Nature Center.

A water ceremony will take place 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, at the Grand Ravines Lodge, at 9920 42nd Ave. in Georgetown Township. Local Anishinaabe leaders, representing the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians, will deliver an oral history about Owashtanong, the far-flowing-waters of the Grand River and its significance to the Anishinaabe people.

The event will conclude with a special “thank you” to all the volunteers who make the event possible at the Kentwood District Library Courtyard, at 4950 Breton Road SE in Kentwood, from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18. It will include food, live music and beer for those age 21 and older.

Free disposable gloves and bags will be provided to all registered volunteers. Volunteers are asked to use the Clean Swell mobile app to keep track of their impact. WMEAC asks participants to forward their results to mayorscleanup@wmeac.org or to share their impact using #MayorsCleanup2021 on social media.

Event details and registration information are available at wmeac.org/mayors-cleanup. Registration is required to receive cleanup supplies.

WMEAC

Founded in 1968, the West Michigan Environmental Action Council is a nonprofit that provides environmental education and advocacy.

It focuses on building sustainable communities and protecting water resources.

WMEAC’s service area includes Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo and Ottawa counties, with primary emphasis on the Grand Rapids, Holland and Muskegon areas.

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